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8/25/2011



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

L.A.-area ports target zero-emission projects; Seattle port offers online carbon calculator


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The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., recently released a report that establishes a framework for identifying, developing and testing of non-polluting technologies for moving cargo.  

Titled “Roadmap for Moving Forward with Zero Emissions Technologies at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles – Technical Report,” the document evaluates various transportation methods that produce no air pollutants.

The report shows that rail operations generate 5 percent of the diesel particulate matter emissions and 8 percent of the nitrous oxide emissions at the ports, which are North America’s busiest container seaports. Line-haul locomotives emit most of the pollutants generated by rail operations. To maximize air quality benefits, zero-emission options targeting locomotive emissions should be pursued on a regional scale, the report states.

The Long Beach and Los Angeles boards of harbor commissioners directed the ports' staff to provide a proposal for a zero-emission project targeting rail, and more information on the process and structure for electing additional zero-emission projects at a meeting in October.

Meanwhile, the Port of Seattle recently added a carbon calculator to its website. The online feature is based on an updated study that analyzed the ship, rail and truck segments of each trade route.

The “Green Gateway Carbon Calculator” enables shippers to compare carbon dioxide emissions per 20-foot equivalent unit through various North American gateways based on different vessel sizes and utilizations.


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