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  • 2021 October 15 13:53

    Port of San Diego adopts most ambitious maritime clean air strategy of its kind in California

    The Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners has approved a policy document to help the Port identify future projects and initiatives to improve health through cleaner air for all who live, work, and play on and around San Diego Bay while also supporting efficient and modern maritime operations. The Maritime Clean Air Strategy (MCAS) and its vision, “Health Equity for All,” represent the Port’s commitment to environmental justice and is more ambitious than any other clean air policy document of its kind in the state. In fact, nearly all the MCAS goals and/or objectives go beyond what is currently required by the State of California.

    Extensive community and stakeholder involvement is the cornerstone of the MCAS. The Port began developing the goals and objectives of the MCAS in March 2020 in close consultation and collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders – community residents, industry, businesses, public agencies, and non-government organizations.

    As an update to the Port’s 2007 Clean Air Program, the MCAS identifies a vision centered on health equity, with ambitious goals for 2030 that will contribute to improved air quality. In support of the 2030 goals, the MCAS establishes more specific, near-term emissions reduction goals and objectives to be accomplished within the next five-year period between 2021 and June 30, 2026. Collectively, in conjunction with the near-term goals and objectives, the MCAS identifies approximately 34 potential projects, partnerships, initiatives, and/or studies.

    Highlights of the MCAS goals and/or objectives that go beyond State requirements include:

    A goal of 100 percent of cargo trucks calling on the Port of San Diego cargo maritime terminals being zero emissions (ZE) vehicles by 2030, far exceeding State requirements by five years, and in some cases, even more. (An Executive Order of the Governor identifies goals for ZE short-haul/drayage trucks by 2035, with full transition to ZE heavy duty long-haul trucks by 2045.)

    An interim goal of 40 percent of the Port’s annual cargo truck trips being performed by ZE trucks by June 30, 2026.

    A goal of 100 percent of cargo handling equipment being ZE by 2030. (An Executive Order of the Governor calls for full transition of cargo handling equipment to ZE by 2035, where feasible.)

    Facilitate implementation of the first all-electric tugboat in the United States by June 30, 2026. The electric tug will replace one that consumes more than 30,000 gallons of diesel per year. The eTug will help reduce Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) emissions by transitioning to ZE/near-zero emission technologies and/or other lower-emitting engines or alternative fuels. (State does not currently have any requirements for electric tugboats.)

    Contribute Port Maritime Industrial Impact Fund dollars for the San Diego Air Pollution Control District’s (SDAPCD) purchase and installation of new portable air filtration devices at participating Portside Community residences. This is already in the works. In addition to approving the MCAS, at the same meeting, the Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the SDAPCD on the SDAPCD’s Portside Air Quality Improvement and Relief (PAIR) program. (State does not currently have any requirements for residential air filtration in Portside Communities.)

    Other notable clean air projects in the works that will aid in the achievement of the MCAS goals include:

    Doubling shore power for cruise ships by 2023.

    Adding shore power or an alternative technology to reduce ocean-going emissions at berth at the National City Marine Terminal by 2025 in alignment with State requirements.

    Designating $25 million of federal stimulus funds the Port is applying for to:

    Purchasing electric cranes to replace the obsolete diesel mobile harbor crane at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

    Purchasing electric equipment like UTRs (Utility Tractor Rigs), drayage short-haul trucks, and General Services fleet trucks.

    Port fleet electrification.

    Harbor Drive 2.0 – A plan to use innovative technology along Harbor Drive to smartly manage cargo truck traffic passing through Barrio Logan and National City.

    In addition to cleaner air and improved health, other benefits of reducing emissions include job creation, ambient noise reduction, urban greening, ecosystem enhancement, knowledge and capacity building, education and training, and improved access to San Diego Bay.

    The Port intends to support timely and cost-effective implementation of the various projects and initiatives identified in the MCAS. Funding could come from multiple sources, including the Port. The Port intends to work with neighboring jurisdictions, partners, and tenants to identify funding and to collaborate on seeking state and federal grants. Additionally, Port staff will regularly report back to the Board, including comprehensive updates every two years.

    For more than a decade, the Port of San Diego and its partners have deployed clean air investments and new technologies to improve air quality. Plans like the Clean Air Plan (2007), Climate Action Plan (2013), and the Final Environmental Impact Report for Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal (TAMT) Redevelopment Plan and corresponding TAMT Redevelopment Plan (2016) have all played a part. These plans provided ideas, guidance, and other measures to improve overall air quality and alleviate the environmental burden on surrounding communities. These efforts have steadily increased over the years, with continued investments in solar energy, shore power, and expanded installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and other emerging technologies like a microgrid at TAMT.

    San Diego Port tenants have also been early adopters of new technologies to reduce emissions. In 2016, the San Diego Port Tenant’s Association received funding to demonstrate and deploy a wide range of zero emission (ZE) trucks and cargo handling equipment. These efforts have established a solid foundation to position the Port to advance the next level of clean air investments to help chart the course for further investment in and around the Port’s tidelands.

    About THE Port of San Diego

    The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

    The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.




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