March 23, 2021 — As an environmental champion of San Diego Bay and the surrounding waterfront, the Port of San Diego is developing a Maritime Clean Air Strategy (MCAS) as part of continued efforts to identify projects that will improve air quality as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to transition to more efficient, modern, and sustainable maritime operations.
Extensive community and stakeholder involvement is the cornerstone of the MCAS. Collaboration with community residents, industry, businesses, public agencies, and non-government organizations helped produce the goals and objectives identified in the MCAS Discussion Draft. Now, the Port is seeking additional community and stakeholder feedback.
To learn more about the MCAS and to review the Discussion Draft, go to portofsandiego.org/MCAS. Written community feedback will be accepted via email to MCAS@portofsandiego.org through Tuesday, April 20, 2021. In addition, the public may suggest an aspirational vision statement to include in the final document. During the four-week review period, the public is also invited to participate in a virtual Community Conversation on April 7, 2021 at 5 p.m. Click here to register for the Community Conversation.
As an update to the Port’s 2007 Clean Air Program, the MCAS identifies goals and objectives to reduce emissions associated with the following seven maritime-related sources: cargo handling equipment, commercial harbor craft, heavy duty trucks, the Port’s fleet, shipyards, ocean-going vessels, and freight rail. The MCAS will help the Port determine which efforts are feasible and how they should be prioritized and/or phased in over time. The MCAS is also intended to help clarify the role the Port may play in supporting our tenants and terminal operators with transitioning to zero and near-zero emission technologies.
The Port has identified four overall goals/objectives:
- Promote environmental stewardship and the maritime industry
- Advance emission reduction efforts that are ambitious and provide direct benefits to the Portside Community
- Advance equity and environmental justice
- Support California’s ZE/NZE mobile source goals and GHG reduction targets
The Port of San Diego has been investing in and deploying new technologies to improve overall air quality and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region in support of collective thrivability for our communities, environment, and regional economy. The Port is positioned to be an innovative leader and good neighbor, advancing the next level of clean air investments to benefit everyone who lives, works and plays on and around San Diego Bay.
After the Port receives feedback on the Discussion Draft, Port staff will review the feedback and anticipates returning to the Board of Port Commissioners in May 2021 to present and discuss the feedback received, and then receive Board feedback and direction on the Draft MCAS.
The Port intends to support timely and cost-effective implementation of maritime-related clean air and emissions reduction solutions. Funding for the various projects and initiatives identified in the MCAS could come from multiple sources, including the Port. The Port intends to work with neighboring jurisdictions, partners and tenants to identify funding, and to collaborate on seeking state and federal grants.
The Port champions the safekeeping and environmental care of our dynamic waterfront and is an innovative leader. For more than a decade, the Port has been investing in clean air projects and deploying new technologies with various partners through its Clean Air Program (2007), Climate Action Plan (2013), and the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal (TAMT) Redevelopment Plan’s Program EIR (2016). These plans looked to both improve overall air quality, while also directly alleviating health burdens on surrounding communities. These efforts have been steadily increasing over the years, starting primarily with initial and continued investments in solar panels and shore power, and more recently expanding to mobile charging stations and other emerging technology like a microgrid at TAMT.
The MCAS and AB 617 Community Air Protection Program are complementary efforts – each informs and supports the other.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) established the Community Air Protection Program (or AB 617 Program) in 2018, which tasks local air pollution control districts to work with communities to develop community-focused emission reduction programs. In September 2018, CARB selected the Portside Community for air monitoring, which includes the neighborhoods of Barrio Logan, West National City, Logan Heights, and Sherman Heights, as well as the Port’s Working Waterfront between the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and the National City Marine Terminal. In December 2019, the Portside Community was designated for a Community Emission Reduction Plan (AB 617 CERP), to develop a plan that accelerates emission reduction efforts beyond State requirements.