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'Port of Hueneme Cares About Air' Data Just a Click Away

Wednesday, 03 July 2024 01:13 AM

Port of Hueneme

Port makes significant investments in air quality monitoring equipment and web-based data-sharing

PORT HUENEME, CA / ACCESSWIRE / July 3, 2024 / The Port of Hueneme launched a new air quality monitoring website to provide visitors with near-real time information on air quality in South Oxnard. The website provides current data, a map view, historical data, and a glossary of air quality terms.

Port of Hueneme's air quality monitor.

Maritime operations impact adjacent communities, and the Port of Hueneme has made a commitment to step up as a regional leader in the transition to zero emission technologies. In the fall of 2021, the Oxnard Harbor District's Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to pass a resolution to commit the Port of Hueneme to decarbonize operations at the Port of Hueneme as part of their commitment to transitioning to a zero-emission future. This resolution effectively laid the foundation for the Port's Community Air Quality Monitoring Program, as well as parallel zero emission commitments to protecting the environment and supporting a healthy quality of life locally.

The new website demonstrates the Port's commitment to the community to be a conscientious steward of the local environment and will further enhance the ongoing air monitoring of particulate matter in communities with environmental and health outcome disparities. The transformation of numerical data into culturally competent visual forms, such as charts, graphs, maps, and dashboards, will better aid the surrounding communities to understand and communicate accomplishments as well as identify opportunities for improvements.

"By offering the local community access to a website available in both English and Spanish that monitors local air quality, the Port will be able to ensure accessibility for our diverse community," said Celina Zacarias, President of Oxnard Harbor Commission.

Residents of South Oxnard had initially approached the Port of Hueneme with questions pertaining to air quality in their neighborhood. Through the Port's ongoing community listening campaign efforts, the voices of local residents advocating for the installation of air quality monitors to gather much needed community specific data were heard. In 2019, the Port's Board of Harbor Commissioners voted to fund the installation of the first Environmental Protection Agency reference grade air quality monitoring station at Haycox Elementary School located in South Oxnard. This was an ideal location in the community on which to locate the monitoring equipment.

Port of Hueneme's air quality monitor.

"Community air quality information is usually put forth in highly technical language and graphics which assume significant educational privilege," said Giles Pettifor, the Port's Environmental Manager. "The Port's work has been to turn this model on its head and to seek not only equitable access to environmental information but equitable understanding of that data. This website is a significant step towards that goal."

EPA reference grade monitors produce the highest accuracy data, which will better inform the air quality concerns of the local community. This new website is the latest part of the Port's ongoing commitment to environmental transparency as well as community engagement and education regarding the environment. The website provides resources to better understand air quality and simplify the many scientific complexities of air quality through interactive videos and diagrams in English and Spanish.

The passage of this resolution further propelled the Port's Environmental Management Framework (EMF) to go above and beyond compliance with federal, state and local regulations, and to also implement greater pollution prevention measures.

"I applaud the Port of Hueneme in taking this monumental step toward a Zero Emissions Future! South Oxnard will greatly benefit from the Port's willingness to listen to the community about our Air Quality concerns and for making such a bold commitment to reach the 2030 goal. We appreciate that the Port's community outreach has been genuine and most importantly consistent in giving us tools like this website so that we can learn and see for ourselves and help others understand air quality in our region. I would like to also thank the Port's leadership for being visionary enough to push forward and allowing staff like Giles Pettifor and Miguel Rodriguez to continue charging forward!" shared local community member and South Oxnard leader Carolina Gallardo MagaƱa.

A bird flying at the Port of Hueneme's Harbor

As air in the Ventura County air basin swirls about with wind and seasons, the data shown on this new website will show community air quality readings which are influenced by all local sources of air contaminants. These sources include our cars, buses and trucks driving on local roads and freeways, industrial and agricultural work, and wildfires. As sources of pollution from traditional diesel fueled equipment are phased out and replaced with zero emission alternatives, local pollution levels of certain pollutants are anticipated to fall over time and the air quality website will show these reductions over the years it will take. The Port is working to plan and implement this transition away from fossil fuels for most of the equipment working on Port as well as things like the ships themselves and the trucks delivering food and essential products to our homes and local stores.

This type of sustainability work highlights the years long efforts of the Port's environmental stewardship program known as PHRESH (Port of Hueneme Reducing Emissions, Supporting Health), which was developed in partnership with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District to assess and address climate actions and adaptation at the Port like reduced emissions, air quality regulations and resiliency goals. PHRESH is the first program in the State of California to partner with an air quality regulator to collaboratively develop a climate plan together.

"Partnerships like these are foundational in the success of bold initiatives to address and co-create a comprehensive plan for emission reductions and a zero-emission future here at the Port of Hueneme," said Port of Hueneme Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Director Kristin Decas.

The Port of Hueneme

In addition, the Port of Hueneme is excited to use this new online platform to leverage their $500,000 award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will expand the Port's existing air quality monitoring network by installing four new air monitoring stations across Ventura County to better understand, and communicate, air data across the Oxnard Plain and beyond. The Port of Hueneme's "Ventura County Community Air Quality Monitoring Network" project was selected among 131 other projects, in 37 states, to receive a portion of the $53.4 million from the American Rescue Plan Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring Competitive Grant Program. This project is being implemented as a team with VCAPCD, CSUCI and the local environmental group CFROG.

About the Port of Hueneme
The Port of Hueneme is one of the most productive and efficient commercial trade gateways for niche cargo on the West Coast. Five locally elected Port Commissioners govern the Port. The Port consistently ranks among the top ten U.S. ports for automobiles and fresh produce. Port operations support the community by bringing $2.8 billion in economic activity and creating 24,997 trade-related jobs. Trade through the Port of Hueneme generates more than $236 million in direct and related state and local taxes, which fund vital community services. In 2017, the Port of Hueneme became the first port in California to become Green Marine certified and was voted the Greenest Port in the U.S. at the Green Shipping Summit.

Press Contact
Letitia Austin
Public & Government Relations Manager
[email protected]
(805) 816-8324

SOURCE: Port of Hueneme

Environmental, Social and Governance
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