‘Dramatic reductions’ in emissions found at Port of Oakland

Press Release

For Immediate Release
December 12, 2014

‘Dramatic reductions’ in emissions found at Port of Oakland

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists say air quality should improve


Oakland, CA – Dec. 12, 2014 – Researchers say they’ve measured “dramatic reductions” in diesel emissions at the Port of Oakland. The result, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, should be cleaner air.

“At the Port of Oakland we measured reductions of nitrogen oxides and black carbon PM (particulate matter) which should translate into local improvements in air quality,” said Berkeley Lab air quality scientist Dr. Thomas Kirchstetter in a Laboratory announcement released this week.

Dr. Kirchstetter, also an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said that between 2009 and 2013:

  1. The median emission rate from diesel trucks operating at the Port declined 76% for black carbon, a major portion of diesel particulate matter and a pollutant linked to global warming.
  2. The average emission rate for nitrogen oxides, which leads to the creation of ozone and particulate matter, went down 53%.


The Berkeley Lab findings show that a clean truck program initiated at the Port of Oakland in 2009 is paying off. Known as the Comprehensive Truck Management Program, it requires harbor truckers to comply with state air quality regulations. It also bans rigs that don’t meet 2007 US Environmental Protection Agency engine emission standards. The Port took part in a $22 million grant program to help drivers make their trucks compliant.

Dr. Kirchstetter’s research team noted two significant improvements in the truck fleet serving the Port: 1) the median age of truck engines has declined from 11 to 6 years since 2009; and 2) the percentage of trucks equipped with particulate filters has increased from 2% to 99%.

The findings are important because diesel trucks make thousands of trips annually transporting Port of Oakland imports and exports. The UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory team, which also included Rob Harley, professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley, and Phil Martien of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, monitored fleet emissions in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

The full announcement from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is available here: http://1.usa.gov/1yX3lBU

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport and Oakland International Airport. The Port’s jurisdiction includes 20 miles of waterfront from the Bay Bridge through Oakland International Airport. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland.
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Media Contact:

Roberto Bernardo,
Communications Manager
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1401
Click here to contact Robert Bernardo

Marilyn Sandifur
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
Click here to contact Marilyn Sandifur

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