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Northwest Ports Reduce Diesel Emissions, Set Further Goals For 2020

2013 Strategy Update outlines ways to further reduce port-related air emissions

June 13, 2013

Contact: Tara Mattina, Port of Tacoma / Peter McGraw, Port of Seattle
(206) 787-3446 / (253) 428-8674

The Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma and Port Metro Vancouver, Canada, are setting draft goals to reduce diesel emissions by 75 percent per ton of cargo by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020.  Combined with projected cargo growth, this will result in overall reductions of 70 percent by 2015 and 75 percent by 2020. 

The goals are part of the draft 2013 Update of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy released today.  The Ports will accept public comments on the draft strategy through July 26, through open houses, in-person, mail, or online.

“The good news is that emissions are down and in this Strategy Update we are setting more aggressive goals for the near future,” said Stephanie Jones Stebbins, Director of Environmental and Planning at the Port of Seattle.  “The draft Strategy Update includes both aggressive reduction goals and sector-specific actions to meet those goals.” 

The 2013 Update was developed based on the results of the 2011 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory released last October. The inventory found maritime-related air pollution has decreased since 2005, with much of the progress due to significant, voluntary investments of the maritime industry and government agencies in cleaner technology, cleaner fuels and more efficient systems of operation.

“To thrive and prosper, we need healthy air to breathe as well as economic opportunity,” said Andrew Green, Air Quality Programs Director with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.  “We support our ports’ commitments to cut diesel exhaust and greenhouse gas pollution. Achieving the Strategy Update’s goals will ensure our region remains a healthy thriving place to live, breathe and do business.”

To develop and implement the 2007 Strategy and this 2013 Strategy Update, the three ports partnered with other government agencies responsible for protecting air quality in the airshed: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington State Department of Ecology and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency in the U.S.  The airshed centers on the marine area known as the Salish Sea and includes the Strait of Juan de Fuca, greater Puget Sound area, Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait, Boundary Pass, Rosario Strait and other nearby waterways.

“Air quality affects our entire region, and we pride ourselves on working collaboratively with a range of partners—from other ports and air agencies to our customers and vendors—to improve the environment and protect human health while providing a healthy supply chain,” said Jason Jordan, Director of Environmental Programs at the Port of Tacoma. “The cooperative effort that launched the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy several years ago remains intact and strong today.”

Ports are a critical part of the Pacific Northwest and North American economy, facilitating the movement of people and goods and supporting living-wage jobs. With their tenants and customers, the three ports use diesel-powered ships, trains, trucks and other equipment to move goods and passengers through the ports to other destinations.  The Strategy creates an integrated approach to improve air quality and reduce port-related emissions in the shared airshed to safeguard public health and the environment while supporting economic growth.

The public is invited to comment on the draft 2013 Update from June 11 to July 26.  Comments will be accepted at open houses hosted by the ports of Seattle and Tacoma in June and July.

The Port of Seattle is providing two open house events, Wednesday, June 26, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at Port of Seattle Commission Chambers, Pier 69, 2711 Alaskan Way, and Thursday, June 27, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Delridge neighborhood, West Seattle, 4408 Delridge Way SW.  More information is available at:

Comments can also be submitted by email at: or in writing at P.O. Box 1209, Seattle WA  98111.  The draft plan can be viewed at:

The Port of Tacoma will host an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. July 2 in room 104 of the Fabulich Center, 3600 Port of Tacoma Road in Tacoma.  Comments can be submitted to them online at or by mail at Port of Tacoma, P.O. Box 1837, Tacoma, WA  98401.  Learn more at

Port Name: Ports of Seattle and Tacoma

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