“The days of yakkin’ are coming to a screeching halt.”

That’s gotta be my favorite quote this week from an official. It was said by Los Angeles Harbor Commission President S. David Freeman in reference to the new plan to reduce pollution in the harbor area.

bla-containership.jpgThat’s right, it’s a plan, not a proposal or a study … it’s a freakin’ plan and it sounds like it’s a step in the right direction.

A improvements in the rules regarding port use include:

• Trucks: reduce particulate matter emissions, modernize fleets and focus on alternative and/or cleaner fuels. (Deadline: 2011)

• Oceangoing vessels: reduced speeds to be expanded beyond current zone, docked ships to use electricity from harbor to power utilities (AC, lights, equipment, etc) instead of diesel engines. Ships will also have to be cleaner Рeither using cleaner fuels of pollution capture devices.

• Cargo-handling equipment: reduce nitrogen oxide by using cleanest available equipment. (Deadline: All equipment must meet EPA Tier 4 standards by the end of 2011.)

• Harbor craft: All local craft will need to meet EPA Tier 2 standards and will convert to Tier 3 standards as engines become available. (Deadline 5 years for retrofitting.)

• Railroad locomotives: engines to be replaced with Tier 2 models. (Deadline 2008 for switch 2011 for line haul.)

Read full article at The Daily Breeze.

A lot of these are pretty close deadlines, which means that folks will start the conversions sooner rather than later as new equipment is purchased and put into use and repairs are made to existing engines and ships.

Reducing the habor and port pollution will go a long way to improving the general air quality for Southern California, especially particulate pollution as diesel and bunker fueled ships are pretty dirty buggers … so look for cleaner skies.

I can’t wait for a biodiesel whale watching boat to go into service (as long as the biodiesel isn’t made from whale blubber)!

Read the full text of the plans at the Port of Los Angeles website.