2014 Update to the Clean Air Strategy for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

2014 Update to the Clean Air Strategy for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Beach Scene

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is pleased to announce the completion of the 2014 Update to the Clean Air Strategy for the Port of New York & New Jersey. The 2014 Strategy Update is now available online on the Port Authority’s Environmental Initiatives webpage.

Port Commerce Director Rick Larrabee underscores the importance of the Clean Air Strategy noting, “The Port is an economic engine for the region providing numerous jobs with good wages, as well as substantial tax revenues.  The challenge we face is how to accommodate port growth, with all its economic benefits, and still protect and improve the environment, especially air quality for those who live in near port communities. The Clean Air Strategy with its actions to reduce emissions from all port sources is how we meet that challenge.”

The 2014 Clean Air Strategy updates the original Strategy published in 2009 that defined a commitment by the Port Authority and its partners—known collectively as the Strategy Group—to ensure air  emissions generated by mobile sources associated with marine terminal operations and activities decline even with anticipated future port growth through 2020. After five years of implementation, the updated Strategy renews that commitment for the next six years with a new set of 27 voluntary actions across all five sectors of maritime-related Port operations: ocean-going vessels, cargo handling equipment, heavy-duty diesel vehicles, railroad locomotives, and harbor craft.

The actions contained in the Strategy aim to achieve the goals of reducing all criteria air pollutant emissions by 42% from baseline 2006 levels and greenhouse gas emissions by 70% from baseline 2006 levels, despite any port growth through 2020.

“Since the original Strategy was released in 2009, the Port Authority and its partners have made tremendous strides toward those emission reduction goals and improving air quality in and around the port” points out William Nurthen, the agency’s general manager of port environmental programs. “Working together, 80% (27 of 34) of the near-term actions identified in the 2009 CAS across all five sectors of port operations were completed or are underway.”

“Our 2012 Multi-Facility Emissions Inventory tells the story,” says Nurthen. “It shows an average decrease of 33% from the 2006 baseline inventory across all criteria air pollutants associated with port operations, despite an 8.6% increase in cargo volume over the same period.”.
The actions for the 2014 Strategy continue areas of proven success—increasing efficiency and use of alternative power, replacing old equipment, upgrading engines, and increasing modal diversity—and also apply a renewed focus to reduce greenhouse gas and ozone precursor (NOx and VOCs) emissions and foster investments in alternative fueling infrastructure at the port. The Strategy Group developed the updated action list with input from environmental, community, and sector-based stakeholders and the public.

The Strategy Group is comprised of the Port Authority, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, City of New York, Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, New York City Department of Transportation, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, New York Shipping Association, EPA Region 2, and the Cities of Bayonne and Elizabeth in New Jersey.

“With the completion of the 2014 Update to the Clean Air Strategy, the real work begins”, says Rick Larrabee. “The Strategy’s early achievements were made possible through the cooperation and support of the Strategy Group entities and the Port’s industry and community partners. Over the next six years and beyond, these partnerships will again be critical. The Port Authority looks forward to working with all parties toward implementation of the Strategy and continued progress to improve the environment and particularly air quality with its health related benefits for our near port communities.”