The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners approved an environmental ordinance at its Thursday, March 9 meeting. The Port law includes requiring tenants that operate cargo-handling equipment (CHE) to create a plan for converting CHE to zero-emissions.

“The entire Port Board is committed to de-carbonizing operations at Port facilities,” said Port Board President Barbara Leslie. “This ordinance calls for our seaport tenants to develop a plan to reach zero emissions from cargo-handling operations. It’s a commitment to Oakland and the region that we take very seriously.”

Port of Oakland tenants have until December 31, 2023, to create a cargo-handling equipment conversion plan. The ordinance will allow the Port to work collaboratively with its business partners to support an efficient and timely transition to zero emissions.

“Our goal is to grow the Port with operations, equipment, and vehicles fueled by energy that does not emit harmful pollutants into the air,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan. “The Port’s environmental ordinance goes above and beyond state regulations and supports our path to zero emissions.”

As a public agency and tidelands trustee, the Port has certain responsibilities to address public and worker health and safety, as well as to protect and enhance the public’s environmental resources and assets through clean-up, prevention of further contamination, regulatory compliance, and stewardship.

“We recognize there are technical and financial challenges to make major changes in operations,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “We will continue to partner with our maritime tenants to help them achieve success in getting to zero emissions.”

Port tenants’ CHE conversion plans will promote the Port’s vision, as outlined in the Port of Oakland Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan. Port environmental staff will review the plans annually for accountability, transparency, and partnering in support of tenants as they implement their plans.

Since the first adoption of the Environmental Ordinance in 2015, federal, state, and local environmental liability laws and toxic clean-up, standards have continued to evolve. The updated ordinance reflects the adoption of new laws and regulations and new or updated plans adopted by the Port Board.