Port lease would set a 'green' benchmark

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that will outline the most environmentally stringent lease agreement ever executed between a United States port and a major shipping line.

The EIR for the Berths 206-209 Interim Container Terminal Reuse Project (site of the former Matson terminal) certifies that the container terminal operations by lease applicant P&O Nedloyd will be compliant with the latest in maritime environmental technology. Lease terms will require that container ships calling at the terminal switch over to low-sulfur (1.5% or less) fuel in their main and auxiliary engines when within 40 nautical miles of the port.

P&O Nedloyd ships calling at the terminal also will be required to use AMP (Alternative Maritime Power) or “cold-ironing” shore-to-ship electrical connections while at berth. The AMP requirements will need to be used by 30% of the ships calling at the terminal by the completion of the second year of the lease, and the AMP requirement will increase to 70% compliance by the end of the third year. All other non-AMP-powered ships will use low-sulfur fuel at berth.

The EIR calls for the purchase of liquefied petroleum gas-powered yard tractors, coupled with use of emulsified fuel and diesel oxidation catalysts on all older yard tractors and other yard equipment, where feasible.

It also provides for an Environmental Management Policy, which the port implemented in 2004; maximizing the use of on-dock and near-dock rail for long-distance cargo; replacing compounds in refrigerated containers with non-ozone-depleting compounds; and instituting housekeeping/maintenance procedures that limit water use.

Leasing terms between P&O Nedlloyd and the port are expected to be brought to the Harbor Commission for approval during its meeting February 15.

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