EPA and Port Everglades Partnership: Emission Inventories and Reduction Strategies
Ports are key to the United States economy and serve as gateways to transport cargo, fuel, and passengers around the globe. According to the American Association of Port Authorities, seaport cargo activity alone accounts for over a quarter of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and supports the employment of over 23 million Americans. As part of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ports Initiative, EPA recognizes the importance of working closely with ports to understand the on-the-ground, day-to-day operations and examine the methods available to estimate associated air pollution emissions.
In 2016, EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality and Broward County’s Port Everglades announced a voluntary partnership (PDF) (2 pp, 1 MB, June 3, 2016) to study mobile source emissions. Through this partnership that has now concluded, EPA and PEV agreed to work together to develop baseline and future year emission inventories and to evaluate various effective technology and operational strategy scenarios for seaports. Port Everglades is the first port to partner with EPA in this way. Port Everglades is one of the nation’s leading container ports, South Florida’s main seaport for receiving petroleum products, and one of the busiest cruise ports in the world.
This port-specific partnership is a complement to the EPA’s National Port Strategy Assessment (NPSA), which provides a national picture of port-related emission trends and the potential for emission reduction strategies. The NPSA is based on estimated emissions from a sample of 19 seaports that represent a variety of activities and locations around the country.
The EPA and Port Everglades partnership led to the development of:
- The Port Everglades 2015 Baseline Air Emissions Inventory.
- Emission reduction scenarios and inventories for the Port Everglades jurisdictional boundary for future analysis years.
- Separate emissions estimates for certain mobile source corridors outside the Port Everglades jurisdictional boundary.
- Documentation of methods, lessons learned, and practical examples that can inform other ports, related agencies, and stakeholders.
- Executive Summary - EPA and Port Everglades Partnership (PDF) (10 pp, 1.2 MB, June 2018, EPA-420-S-18-002)
- EPA and Port Everglades Partnership (PDF) (135 pp, 2.81 MB, June 2018, EPA-420-R-18-013)
Port Everglades 2015 Baseline Air Emissions Inventory
In 2017, Port Everglades reached a major milestone of this partnership: The completion of the 2015 Baseline Air Emissions Inventory. This inventory includes emissions from ocean-going vessels (OGVs), harbor vessels, cargo handling equipment, onroad vehicles, and rail operations.
Partnering with Port Everglades was key to developing methods and lessons learned that can be applied to other ports.
EPA and Port Everglades worked together on common environmental objectives and shared their perspectives. Port Everglades’ leadership helped EPA better understand port operations and allowed EPA to use the Port as a technical training ground. The partnership also supports the Port’s overall environmental mission and commitment to environmental stewardship. Through its collaboration with Port Everglades, EPA can cite practical examples, methods, and lessons learned that can inform other ports, related agencies, and stakeholders across the U.S.
Inventories can help benchmark port and port industry progress.
An emissions inventory is an important benchmark against which to measure progress and enables informed decision making. With this information, a port can examine emission trends by source, identify potential opportunities for emission reductions, and prioritize future investment or operational changes to reduce emissions. Port Everglades anticipates conducting additional inventories in the future to benchmark air emissions and track progress.
Emissions are being reduced, but more can be done with available strategies.
EPA’s engine and fuel regulations, as well as emerging commercially available technologies, are expected to reduce port-related emissions. However, voluntarily implementing operational strategies or accelerating equipment replacement or retrofit rates could further reduce emissions, or reduce emissions sooner. In consultation with Port Everglades, EPA identified voluntary strategies to analyze. In addition to supporting environmental goals, some strategies have potential co-benefits, such as reducing fuel usage and improving operational efficiencies that may enhance a port’s competitiveness.
Strategies and scenarios are effective to reduce emissions.
To evaluate the effectiveness of various strategies, EPA’s analysis explored the potential of hypothetical scenarios, applied at different levels of implementation, to reduce future year emissions. There are a variety of effective strategies available and ports can assess which make the most sense for their specific conditions. For example, this analysis evaluated the effect of hypothetical scenarios such as using alternative fuels and vessel and equipment replacement to cleaner diesel and electric technologies.
Potential actions can have benefits beyond a port’s boundary.
Ports are a nexus between transportation modes and activities that generate emissions at sea and on land, both on the port property and on nearby transportation corridors. As part of its analysis, EPA examined emissions from port-related vessel and vehicle activity occurring on three transportation corridors outside Port Everglades: a marine corridor, a truck corridor, and a rail corridor. For each corridor, EPA developed a baseline emissions inventory and projected future emissions. Hypothetical scenarios were also developed to examine potential strategies to reduce off-port emissions along these transportation corridors. Quantifying mobile source emissions using local data along these types of corridors can help stakeholders identify impacts and opportunities to reduce emissions.
Data and methods are available for developing port inventories.
This partnership provided an opportunity to consider data and methods currently available for developing the emission inventories for port-related vehicle and equipment sectors. Emission estimation methods are currently available for all land and marine emission sources at ports. Partnering with Port Everglades allowed EPA to refine inventory development methods and will inform EPA’s next update of the Port Emissions Inventory Guidance. Lessons learned and methods developed from the EPA-Port Everglades partnership will be incorporated into EPA’s updated guidance and will inform future inventory development and strategy analyses across the U.S.
Other EPA and Port Everglades Partnership Materials
EPA-PEV Partnership Agreement (PDF) (2 pp, 1 MB, June 3, 2016)
Southern Transportation & Air Quality Summit 2017: EPA-Port Everglades Partnership (PDF)(16 pp, 4 MB, August 29, 2017)
Send an email if you have additional questions: TalkAboutPorts@epa.gov