California ports’ emissions plan: Full steam ahead!

July 23, 2008

Today, Reuters ran a story about the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports’ aggressive plan to slash pollutants — mostly exhaust from diesel engines — that have harmed air quality and contributed to health concerns in the local communities.  In implementing the plan, the ports have butted heads with some of the industries that they do business with, such as shippers, railroads and truckers.

Nevertheless, the plan is moving full steam ahead, so to speak.

During the course of reporting this story, we visited both ports to get an up-close view of some of the measures they are taking. The two videos below demonstrate two of those efforts, one at each port.

The first, from the Port of Long Beach, shows a technology to cap and collect emissions from a ship’s engines using a 2,500-pound “bonnet” made by Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc. The bonnet is lifted about 150 feet in the air to collect the exhaust from the ship’s auxiliary engines, which is then vaccuumed into a treatment system to remove the pollutants. The video first shows the bonnet affixed to the top of the ship, and later shows it being removed, allowing the dirty black smoke to escape into the atmosphere.

The next video shows a heavy-duty no-emissions electric truck at the Port of Los Angeles. The truck, made by Balqon Corporation, runs on batteries and is used to haul containers around the port. Michael Fluegal, who drives the truck, is interviewed inside the trucks’ cab about how this vehicle is different from the diesel-engine trucks he is used to. The port has ordered 20 more of these trucks and five on-road electric trucks.

— Additional reporting by Syantani Chatterjee

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