Clean Air

Through our Clean Air Program, The Northwest Seaport Alliance works closely with our customers, marine terminal operators, trucking companies, rail lines, and others to reduce air pollution (especially diesel exhaust) and climate pollution (greenhouse gas emissions) from seaport activities such as containers ships, cargo-handling equipment, and drayage trucks.

We are committed to working toward a cleaner, healthier air for the people who work on and live near our gateway. In addition we take into consideration the environmental health disparities that exist in communities adjacent to both of our harbors.

The program is also a great tool to guide our activities in order to meet our goals and responsibilities to help limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is the target which is what the most recent science suggests is necessary to stave off the worst impacts of climate disruption.  

A tug pulling a big ship

Specific activities

  • Leading the development and implementation of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, which lays out the overarching vision and goals for the NWSA’s clean air and climate actions and investments.
  • Working with our drayage truck community to implement the Clean Truck Program, including the requirement that all trucks serving our international terminals must be model year 2007 or newer. 
  • Leading the shore power program investments with the goal of installing shore power technology at all major container terminals. Our investments also include the infrastructure required for ships to plug in and turn off diesel engines while at berth.
  • Collaborating with our marine terminal operators to identify and pursue opportunities to reduce pollution, such as switching to cleaner cargo-handling equipment.
  • Identifying and securing external funding to help finance a range of clean air and climate solutions. In recent years, the team has worked to secure $11 million in state and federal grants to fund truck “scrap and replace” programs, finance shore power installations, and incentivize marine terminal operators to purchase cleaner diesel and zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment.
  • Fostering community-based action and engagement for example by participating in and supporting the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition’s Clean Air Program. 

The Air Quality & Sustainable Practices Team collaborates with internal and external partners to develop and carry out our clean air program.