ACTI In The News Bezel
New Tech Promises Solution to Port Pollution
New technology involving a 100-foot robotic arm and an exhaust stack hood could be the answer to a seemingly intractable pollution problem at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, reports The Los Angeles Business Journal. Ruben Garcia is president of Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc., a company that develops technology and provides services for environmental cleanup. The technology, called the Advanced Maritime/Locomotive Emissions Control System, is essentially a large arm that reaches out and places a bonnet over the smoke stack of an idling ship or train, capturing and diverting the exhaust into a system that filters out 95-99 percent of the harmful sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. It is still in the development stage but is scheduled to be tested at the Roseville Rail Yard outside of Sacramento in June under the auspices of the Air Resources Board. Air quality in the ports has become a hot political topic, since according to the Coalition For Clean Air, residents living near the ports are exposed to some of the highest levels of pollution in the state. Also, the amount of air pollution blowing inland every day from the two ports equal to the amount of air pollution generated by 3 million cars. "We understand we have to be business friendly at the port but we also have to be more environmentally friendly," L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, recently told the Business Journal. "But we must also green our ports, or the people around the ports will sue us to stop growing the ports." Currently, a procedure called cold ironing is being used in ports, including the Port of Los Angeles, to reduce pollution. Cold ironing works by electrically powering the auxiliary systems of large ships while they're berthed at the terminal, which involves retrofitting each ship at well over $100,000. Matthew Stewart, Advanced Cleanup's project leader and executive vice president said, "It costs a shipping company about $16,000 to remove a ton of pollution with cold ironing," adding that "Our system costs about $6,400 per ton." Advanced Cleanup has been presenting its system to various stakeholders at the ports, including terminal operators, government agencies and environmental groups. Kevin Hayes, a vice president with Long Beach Container Terminal Inc., a 104-acre, three-berth terminal at the port of Long Beach, said, "it seemed like a great idea - if they can prove that it works." The presentations also have drawn the interest of the California Air Resources Board, which is awaiting the results of the June tests. Daniel Hinerfeld, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the environmental group has witnessed many visionary proposals aimed at reducing pollution that, so far, amounted to little.

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