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Analysis of Health Impacts resulting from Truck and Rail emissions reductions attained through the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan Programs

  • Author(s): Kuo, Tammie
  • Advisor(s): Saphores, Jean-Daniel
  • et al.
Abstract

Various policies have been implemented to deal with the air pollution generated by freight operations at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (also known as the San Pedro Bay Ports, or SPBP), including mandating cleaner vehicles and cleaner fuels, shifting container transport from trucks to trains for long distance travel, or shifting freight deliveries from peak to off-peak hours. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the co-benefits of some of these policies on the reduction of regional pollutants, and on human health. Port-related emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM2.5) are dispersed throughout the surrounding area using CALPUFF, and the resulting pollutant concentrations are compared between milestone years for the policies and a baseline year, 2005, using EPA’s BenMAP health analysis model. Results show that within the SPBP boundaries, the Clean Trucks program has cut heavy duty vehicle NOx emissions by 65-80% between 2005 and 2012, and PM2.5 levels have been reduced by over 95%. This has resulted in net annual savings related to cardiovascular and respiratory impacts of over $9 million. The Rail Line-Haul and Switcher Fleet Modernization program has achieved lower pollutant reductions, around 50% for NOx and 45% for PM2.5, but the broader range of this program’s impacts has resulted in even higher net savings of over $100 million between 2005 and 2012. These examples indicate that the Clean Air Action Plan has made a positive impact on quality of life for residents in the Los Angeles area.

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