The improvements in air quality are linked to a port program to modernize trucks.
In addition, the average emission rate for nitrogen oxides declined 53%.
The study by Robert Harley and other researchers at the University of California-Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, found sharp reductions in harbor pollution. Thousands of diesel trucks haul containerized imports and exports, including fresh produce items, to and from the Port of Oakland annually.
Harley, a professor at the university, discusses the findings with Dr. Washington Burns, director of the West Oakland Asthma Coalition, in a video released Jan. 26 .
“This is a big step forward,” Burns said. “The port said they’d reduce air pollution — and they’re doing it.”
The Port of Oakland committed in 2009 to reduce diesel particulate matter from trucks, ships and cargo handling equipment by 85% by 2020, said Richard Sinkoff director of environmental programs and planning.
Trucks were retrofitted with filters to reduce emissions.