Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy

Air emissions readily cross municipal, regional and national boundaries, which is why we work collaboratively with many others to monitor and address port-related air emissions that affect air quality and contribute to climate change.

In partnership with the port authorities of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma and the Northwest Seaport Alliance, we established the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy in 2007 to reduce port-related air emissions in the shared Georgia Basin-Puget Sound air shed.

The goals of the strategy are to reduce diesel particulate matter emissions per tonne of cargo by 80% by 2020, relative to a 2005 baseline, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of cargo by 2020. These goals were achieved four years ahead of expectation, and we are now working to renew the strategy.

The strategy also includes performance targets for each of the primary port emissions sources, including ocean-going ships, harbour boats, cargo-handling equipment, container trucks, locomotives and port administrative operations.

As an example, one of the performance targets is to track the number of ships calling at each port with improved engines or using shore power, cleaner fuels or other emissions-reducing technologies. This target was created to recognize the importance of port authorities in supporting shipping companies to adopt fuels or technologies that reduce emissions beyond those required by the International Maritime Organization for the North American Emission Control Area. We track the ships that meet or exceed environmental best practices through our EcoAction Program.