Puget Sound Sees Reduced Pollution from Maritime Sector: Report

Image: Northwest Seaport Alliance.

Since 2005, the Puget Sound has seen a drop in the amount of air pollution generated from maritime-related operations, according to a report released June 7 by the Puget Sound Maritime Air Forum.

The Puget Sound Emissions Inventory (PSEI) report, created with the help of seven area ports, six government agencies and three industrial partners, shows an 82% decline in diesel particulate matter and a 10% drop in greenhouse gas emissions from port and maritime sources in the region since 2005, the inventory’s baseline measurement.

“The Puget Sound Emissions Inventory is an important tool to identify how our policy decisions and investments are helping to reduce air and climate pollution from port operations while also identifying key areas of improvement that we must focus on in the coming years,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President and Northwest Seaport Alliance Co-Chair Kristin Ang.

Officials are attributing the reductions to electrification and sustainability engine investments, efforts to make operations more efficient and implementing the North American Emissions Control Area regulation that mandates vessels burn lower sulfur fuels within 200 miles of shore.

“The Port of Everett is committed to greening the supply chain and reducing our carbon footprint,” CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “With over $150 million invested in seaport modernization in recent years, we’ve achieved diverse environmental benefits and advanced our climate change strategy.”

“During the pandemic supply chain crisis, we handled excess cargo with lower emissions per unit — delivering cargo with a lower carbon footprint than any past inventories,” she remarked.

The full report is available at www.pugetsoundmaritimeairforum.org.

By Karen Robes Meeks