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Port of San Diego Releases Maritime Clean Air Strategy for a Second Look

The strategy was initially released in March of this year for a public comment period of 30 days before undergoing a revision period.

SAN DIEGO一 The Port of San Diego released a second draft of the Maritime Clean Air Strategy for a 30-day public comment period starting on Aug. 5.

The MCAS will serve as a guide to the Port of San Diego as they move forward to reduce emissions in the port for both short-term and long-term planning.

“This is the second time we’ve put the draft of the MCAS out for public review,” said Larry Hofreiter, program manager at the planning department for the Port of San Diego. “We put the first draft out for four weeks in March…We got some really good feedback. In terms of looking specifically not just at reducing emissions for several different maritime sources but to also look at impacts that emission reductions would have for public health, ways that the MCAS could help enrich the community, and also some of the secondary benefits of our Maritime Clean Air Strategy such as jobs, urban greening, that kind of information. In response to those comments, we received we updated the draft of the document and we are putting it out for another 30-day review period…We are hopeful based on the first public review period that we are are closer to the mark than we were before.”

The document was reviewed by the Board of Port Commissioners in July before being sent back for additional review, the board will see the document again in October and the hope is that the document will be adopted and the port can move forward to lower carbon emissions.

“In July the board gave us staff clear direction as to their expectations and vision for the plan,” said Maggie Weber, senior planner at the planning department for the Port of San Diego. “We think we effectively met their requests and so if all goes according to plan, they will agree with that and they will adopt it in October.”

The document covers changes for commercial businesses such as the use of all-electric trucks in the port by 2030 and the addition of an electric charging station for cruise ships in the port, but the document also recommends changes for communities and private residences.

“One of the objectives we’ve identified is to work with the San Diego Air Pollution Control District to participate in their program to get or give funding to install air filters in some of the homes and residences adjacent to the port and the working waterfront,” said Hofreiter.

The port is expanded its focus to those communities that are affected by the carbon emissions coming from the Port of San Diego.

“A big request for the revision of the overall plan is health equity for all with more of a focus on improving the life of neighboring communities to our marine terminals on the working waterfront,” said Weber. “Having that be the primary focus with our plan is to improve the health and in turn the clean air or making the air cleaner for the community.”

The MCAS establishes more specific near-term goals to reduce emissions and improve air quality over the five-year period. The MCAS is an update to the port’s 2007 Clean Air Program and has included and continues to include the community and other stakeholders.

“Maggie and I have been working on this for about 18 months now and it has really been a community-driven process,” said Hofreiter, “We’ve formed three separate subcommittees in the past 18 months to identify and refine some of these ideas and concepts and we have put the document out for public review two times I really think it is not a top-down plan per se it is really a bottom-up plan.”

Review the draft of the revised MCAS at Written feedback can be sent to through Sept. 3. The public can also participate in the MCAS Virtual Update on Aug. 26 at 5:30 p.m., to register for the Zoom see the link

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