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New Report: Puget Sound Ports Curb Emissions

Air pollution from the major shipping ports in Puget Sound has decreased, according to a new report released Tuesday. The 300-page report compared emissions of diesel particulates, greenhouse gases and other air pollutants in five Puget Sound ports from 2005 to 2011. Overall, emissions have gone down.

Stephanie Jones-Stebbins manages environmental programs at the Port of Seattle. She says that when you compare shipping one ton of cargo in 2005 to shipping that same ton of cargo in 2011, the emissions have dropped.

“Your emissions would have gone down 34 percent for diesel particulate and 14 percent for GHGs [Greenhouse Gases] per ton of cargo,” she says.

Over the past six years several of the ports have put in anti-idling requirements. They’ve also asked larger vessels to use cleaner fuel and connect to on-shore power while they’re in port.

Maritime sources make up almost 30 percent of diesel particulate emissions in the Puget Sound region. The ports plan to continue lowering green house gas emissions.

Other ports in the Northwest are working to shrink their carbon footprints. The Port of Portland has cut greenhouse gas emissions to 15 percent below its 1990 levels.

Read the full story on KUOW's Earthfix