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Vessel Emissions

Ships calling on the Port of Long Beach are a significant source of emissions that cause air pollution. The Port is working to reduce these emissions through:

Green Ship Incentive Program
The Green Ship Incentive Program is a voluntary clean-air initiative targeting the reduction of smog-causing nitrogen oxides (NOx). It rewards qualifying vessel operators for deploying today's greenest ships to the Port of Long Beach and accelerating the use of tomorrow's greenest ships. Vessels with main engines meeting 2011 Tier 2 standards established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will be eligible for an incentive of $2,500 per ship call. For still cleaner vessels meeting 2016 Tier 3 standards, the incentive will increase to $6,000 per ship call.
For more information on the program, go to www.polb.com/greenship.

Main Engine Low-Sulfur Fuel Incentive Program
From July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009, the Port committed up to $10 million for a one-year incentive program to encourage vessel operators to use low sulfur (0.2 percent sulfur or less) Marine Gas Oil (MGO) or Marine Diesel Oil (MDO) in their main engines during their approach or departure, out to 20 or 40 nautical miles (nm) from Point Fermin. During the one-year program, the Port provided funding to cover the cost differential between the cleaner burning low-sulfur fuel and the heavy bunker fuel typically used in vessel main engines. To receive the incentive, vessel operators were required to be compliant with the Vessel Speed Reduction Program speed limit of 12 knots over the distance they wished to receive the incentive (40 nm or 20 nm) and use low sulfur fuel in their auxiliary engines while at berth. Additional information on the Port’s Low-Sulfur Fuel Incentive Program can be found on the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles' joint Clean Air Action Plan website.

The Port’s incentive program ended June 30, 2009, after which time the California Air Resources Board (CARB) main engine regulation came into effect. Under the CARB main engine regulation, ocean-going vessels (OGVs) are required to use 1.5 percent sulfur MGO or 0.5 percent MDO fuel in vessel main, auxiliary, and boiler engines when operating within 24 nm of the California coastline. Beginning January 1, 2012, the CARB regulation will require the use of 0.1 percent sulfur MGO or MDO in vessel main, auxiliary, and boiler engines operating within 24 nm of the California coastline. Further information on the CARB regulation is available on the CARB website.

Shore Power Electricity
Using electrical power for ships at berth rather than diesel-burning engines, a practice called shore power or “cold ironing,” greatly reduces air pollution from ships. Beginning in 2014, fleets will be required to plug into shore power at increasing levels under the California Air Resources Board’s “At-Berth Oceangoing Vessels” regulation. Additionally, the Port continues to seek out opportunities to increase the use of shore power beyond regulatory requirements as part of the Clean Air Action Plan. The Port currently has shore power at four berths, including the world’s only shore power-capable tanker facility. Over the next two years, the Port will outfit all of its container terminals with shore power in preparation for the state regulation. Click here to read the Shore Power Fact Sheet. You can also find more information in the files below.

Green Flag Program
The Port’s Green Flag Program is a voluntary vessel speed reduction program that rewards vessel operators for slowing down to 12 knots or less within 20 or 40 nautical miles of Point Fermin (near the entrance to the Harbor). By reducing ships’ speeds as they approach or depart the Port, the ships use less fuel, which in turn prevents more than 1,000 tons of air pollutants and 45,000 tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the air each year. 

Operators that participate in the program and achieve a 90% or higher compliance rate at the 20 or 40 nautical mile level in one calendar year may earn dockage rate reductions for calls made in the following calendar year.  In 2013, 98% of vessels reduced their speeds within 20 nautical miles of the Port and 89% reduced their speeds within 40 nautical miles.  In 2013, the Port awarded approximately $2.8 million in dockage savings to participating vessel operators that met the 90% compliance requirement at either the 20 or 40 nautical mile level in 2012.  

For more information, see the Fact Sheet.

Smoke Stack Reductions
The Port is a
ssisting the South Coast Air Quality Management District in enforcing regulations that prohibit excessive emissions from vessels that call at the Port with its Smoke Stack Emission Reduction Program. Through education and outreach to vessel operators and citations from the Port's Harbor Patrol officers, the Port encourages proper maintenance, operational controls and use of alternative fuels to reduce

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