Honorees Awarded Green Flags of Recognition for Their Ships

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — May 8, 2009 — The Port of Los Angeles has awarded vessel speed reduction flags to 19 shipping lines for lowering their vessel speed while making at least 20 calls to the port in 2008.  The flags honor companies that achieved more than 90 percent fleet-wide compliance and vessels that were 100-percent compliant with the Port’s Vessel Speed Reduction Program, which was implemented in 2005.

“Even though the Vessel Speed Reduction Program is voluntary, in the first six months of the program more than 70 percent of the vessels that call on the Port complied with the program,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  “That eliminated more than 266 tons of nitrogen oxides from the air in just those six months.”

In 2008, 486 vessels were 100-percent compliant in the program, preventing the release of 622 tons of sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions, 67 tons of Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) emissions and 917 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

Companies that received flags at a reception held last evening included: APL Ltd., Chevron Shipping Co LLC, China Shipping Container Lines, CMA CGM (America) LLC, Disney Cruise Line, Evergreen Marine Corp, Hapag-Lloyd Ag, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd., Maersk Line, Mitsui Bulkships, Mitsui Osk Lines Ltd., NCL, NCL Bahamas Ltd., Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Orient Overseas Container Line, Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., Seabulk Tankers Inc., Star Shipping As, and Yang Ming Marine Transport.

The Port of Los Angeles Vessel Speed Reduction Program is voluntary, and requests that vessels reduce their speed from approximately 22 knots to 12 knots when they are within 20 nautical miles of the entrance to the Port (known as the Air Quality Compliance Zone).  The intent of the program is to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.  The Port is considering extending the zone to 40 nautical miles to reap additional environmental benefits.

The Port of Los Angeles, also known as “America’s Port,” has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy and the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. A recipient of numerous environmental awards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2007 Clean Air Excellence Award, the Port of Los Angeles is committed to innovating cleaner, greener ways of doing business. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port. A brighter future.