August 24, 2021 – When a blueprint is created, it identifies and outlines a plan of action with the big picture in mind. In the case of the Port of Hueneme, their “blueprint project” known as SPARC (Sustainable Power Advancement & Resiliency for our Community) was created to chart a pathway to zero emission operations which is the Port’s overall long-term goal for air quality improvement and climate change adaptation. The plan will include an attainable timeline for the complete transition to a zero emission Port operation.

Photo above: The path to zero emissions: The Port’s Chief Operations Officer Christina Birdsey, CEO & Director Kristin Decas, and Commissioner Jess Herrera stand in front of a zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell truck.

“This project will be an essential element in charting the Port’s pathway to a zero-emission future as part of the Port’s commitment to being a steward of the local environment,” said Jason Hodge, Oxnard Harbor District President. “The Port recognizes the urgency of addressing the climate crisis facing the globe and is undertaking multiple projects to facilitate reducing air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions from Port operations.”

The SPARC Blueprint is funded in part by the California Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program (formally known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program) which invests up to $100 million annually to support California communities, increase access to zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, support innovation, and accelerate the deployment of advanced transportation and fuel technologies.

The Port of Hueneme and its partners were awarded a $200,000 grant from the program that will be used to quantify the types, uses, and volumes of clean energy fuels needed at the Port in the future along with estimated infrastructure costs and timelines. This includes steps needed to implement medium- and heavy duty zero-emission vehicles (MD/HD/ZEV), trucks, equipment, and marine vessels and their related electric charging and/or hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

The Port will collaborate with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD), BREATHE SoCal, the Coalition for Clean Air, and ZE Advisors on the blueprint project. This collaboration will create a roadmap for the Port to implement the MD/HD ZEV infrastructure with a strong technical work plan supported by air quality agency oversight along with an outreach plan that involves a substantial cadre of stakeholders.

The VCAPCD is a government agency providing a full range of air pollution control activities, including permitting, facility inspection, air quality attainment planning, rulemaking, air quality monitoring, and incentive programs. VCAPCD shares responsibility with the California Air Resources Board for ensuring that all state and federal air quality standards are achieved and maintained within Ventura County.

“The goal of having this infrastructure plan is to accelerate deployment of zero emission medium to heavy duty equipment at the Port using a holistic view of transportation and logistics planning with the long-term goal of the Port becoming zero emissions,” said Giles Pettifor, Environmental Manager for the Port of Hueneme.

As part of the project, the Port will work with the community to introduce the process and technology behind transitioning the Port operations to zero emission fuels and equipment as well as receive feedback from the community about this effort.

Brian Sheridan, Development Director for the Coalition for Clean Air (CCA), stated that his organization is proud to be a part of the Port’s efforts to create a pathway to zero emissions.

“We look forward to working with community members, businesses and policy-makers to come up with solutions in pursuit of this ambitious goal,” Sheridan said. “It is truly an exciting day for clean air!”

CCA is California’s only statewide organization working exclusively on air-quality issues and helped pass legislation to put one million electric vehicles on California’s roads by 2025.

“The SPARC Project is an integral step towards obtaining zero emissions throughout the goods movement supply chain,” said Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director. “This project will bring partners and experts in clean air initiatives together to make meaningful and obtainable plans for significant air quality improvements to the disadvantaged communities of the Oxnard Harbor District.”

Continuing forward with its environmental stewardship efforts as the first Port in California to get Green Marine Certification, this blueprint is taking the Port of Hueneme to the next level on its journey towards decarbonization.