Air quality: Port of Oakland ‘taking a big step forward’

Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 26, 2015

Air quality: Port of Oakland ‘taking a big step forward’

Science, health experts note gains in curbing pollution


Oakland, CA – Jan. 26, 2015 – The Port of Oakland is taking a big step forward in curbing pollution from harbor trucks. That’s the view of two experts discussing the Port’s air quality efforts in a new video released today. It’s available here at

Prof. Robert Harley, University of California, Berkeley, says rigs hauling containerized cargo in Oakland are newer and cleaner. Washington Burns, M.D., says this is helping Port neighbors cope with respiratory illness.

“This is a big step forward,” says Dr. Burns, director of the West Oakland Asthma Coalition. “The Port said they’d reduce air pollution – and they’re doing it.”

The comments follow a study from the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released in December. Prof. Harley and fellow researchers discovered “dramatic reductions” in harbor truck pollution. The improvements are linked to a Port of Oakland program that has modernized the truck fleet.

The study determined that from 2009 to 2013:

  • The mean emission rate from diesel trucks operating at the Port declined 76% for black carbon, a major component of diesel particulate matter and a pollutant linked to global warming.
  • The average emission rate for nitrogen oxides, which leads to the formation of ozone and additional particulate matter, went down 53%.

Thousands of diesel trucks call at the Port of Oakland annually hauling containerized imports and exports.

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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