Port of San Diego headquarters. Photo by Chris Stone

 The Port of San Diego was re-certified by Green Marine, a voluntary environmental certification program for the maritime industry, it was announced Thursday.

To earn the re-certification, the port had to undergo a rigorous evaluation of its environmental initiatives, the results of which were then verified by an accredited third party. The program reviews 14 areas, including community relations and environmental leadership.

“The Port of San Diego continues to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the health and environment of San Diego Bay,” Port of San Diego Board Chairman Dan Malcolm said in a statement. “To once again have our environmental efforts receive such outstanding rankings proves we are headed in the right direction. We continue to be environmental champions, advancing initiatives to ensure San Diego Bay and its surrounding environment will thrive for generations to come.”

The port first enrolled in the Green Marine program in 2018 and at that time was the second port in California to become a participant. This most recent re-certification covers calendar year 2021.

Areas in which the port was evaluated included: reducing greenhouse gas and air pollutants, spill prevention and stormwater management, community impacts, environmental leadership, waste management, and underwater noise.

Each area was ranked on a 1-to-5 scale based on criteria specified by Green Marine. Level 1 indicates the monitoring of regulations and Level 5 reflects excellence and leadership. The Port of San Diego ranked in the top 10% of North American ports in the program with an average score of 4.3 out of 5 across all categories.

One stand-out initiative that was recognized during the re- certification was the port completing its Maritime Clean Air Strategy, which the port touts as the most ambitious clean air policy document of its kind in the state. It includes aspirational goals to reduce emissions from seven sources — cargo handling equipment, commercial harbor craft, shipyards, heavy- duty trucks, vehicle fleets, oceangoing vessels and rail.

The strategy identifies 34 projects to further reduce emissions and improve air quality while also supporting port operations.

Results of this year’s program found the biggest overall improvement of all participants was in the waste management category. Green Marine’s 2021 certification program had 171 participants.

–City News Service



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Ellen Bullock