Vancouver port clears the air

VANCOUVER — It’s not an easy task lowering air emissions when you’re dealing with three different modes of transportation, but Port Metro Vancouver has exceeded their own expectations.

The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy 2009 Implementation Report had laid out emissions reduction targets across all port activities including rail, cargo handling equipment, ocean going vessels, port administration, harbour craft and trucks.

Not only did Port Metro Vancouver surpass those goals, but their efforts have been recognized with the Globe 2010 ecoFreight Award for Sustainable Transportation and the port has also been credited for its Air Action Program, having been nominated for the International Sustainable Shipping Award.

"Port Metro Vancouver has received international recognition for the forward thinking sustainability initiatives we have underway, thanks in large part to the support of our terminal operators and industry partners, like those in rail and trucking," said Robin Silvester, Port Metro Vancouver president and CEO. "By working together, we have seen significant improvement in ongoing emissions reduction efforts and as a direct result, the port is well ahead of the curve when it comes to lowering our carbon footprint."

The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy 2009 Implementation Report outlines progress by the port and its regional partners — the ports of Seattle and Tacoma — to meet jointly established short- and long-term clean air goals for ships, cargo-handling equipment, rail, trucks and harbour craft.

Strategies deployed by Port Metro Vancouver for air quality improvements include:

– Container truck emissions reduction compliance increased to 100 percent in 2009, up from 95 percent compliance in 2008
– Shore power connections for cruise ships
– In 2009, 32 percent of cargo handling equipment in the port met or exceeded the Strategy 2010 performance measure and a further 38 percent made progress towards the measure with the use of ULSD or biodiesel with ULSD
– Fully electric cargo handling equipment, such as on-dock container rail gantry cranes, also reduces both criteria air contaminants and green house gases but are not included in the Strategy reporting
– Port Metro Vancouver and Viterra provided a demonstration of the low emission multi-genset locomotive (an "eco-train") that was acquired in 2008.
– Three other facilities — Alliance Grain Terminal, Neptune Bulk Terminals and Petro Canada Terminals — purchased similar "eco-trains" in 2009, including two with automatic idle shutdown. A fifth terminal, Fraser Surrey Docks has been operating a hybrid electric "Green Kid" locomotive since the spring of 2004 which by design does not idle.
– Port Metro Vancouver also uses hybrid vehicles, achieved LEED Gold standard at the organization’s head office, and purchased Green Power Certificates through BC Hydro.

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