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Clean air awards go to five maritime and cargo firms at ports

By Art Marroquin Staff Writer of the DailyBreeze.com

Five maritime and cargo companies serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were recognized Thursday for helping improve air quality in the San Pedro Bay.

Winners of the ports' third annual Clean Air Action Plan Air Quality Awards were recognized for voluntarily complying with efforts to reduce port emissions.

The program was created to recognize companies that help meet the ports' joint Clean Air Action Plan, which was adopted in 2006 to reduce emissions from ships, trucks, trains and other equipment used for port operations.

"It's this kind of forward thinking that has helped our ports significantly reduce air emissions, modernize facilities and cultivate new technologies that help ensure good jobs and a brighter future for millions of people," said Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.

California Cartage Co., one of the nation's largest drayage trucking companies serving the twin ports, received the "Air Quality Leadership at the Corporate Level" award for operating nearly half its truck fleet on liquefied natural gas rather than diesel fuel, while upgrading the rest of its big rigs.

Matson Navigation Company: Matson, a marine terminal operator at the Port of Long Beach, also received the "Air Quality Leadership at the Corporate Level" award for voluntarily retrofitting one of its ships to plug into shore-side electrical power while berthed, along with meeting other "green" goals.
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Jacobson Pilot Services Inc., which provides port pilot services to ships calling at the Port of Long Beach, received the "Innovative Air Quality Improvement Technologies" award for voluntarily designing and using a boat that has 84 percent fewer emissions that conventional motors and emits no diesel particulate matter.

Crowley Marine Services, which provides tugboat services at both ports, received the "Significant Early Action to Reduce Emissions" award for replacing four main diesel engines and eight diesel auxiliary engines on four of its vessels at a cost of roughly $1 million apiece.

SA Recycling, a scrap metal recycler, also received the "Significant Early Action to Reduce Emissions" award for exceeding state clean air requirement by replacing and retrofitting cargo-handling equipment at its facilities in both ports.

"These companies are joining in the ports' vision of a modern, green seaport complex that reduces its environmental impact while improving its services," said Richard Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. "Together, we are accomplishing the goals of achieving dramatically cleaner, healthier air while continuing to provide jobs to the region."