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Protecting the Earth Every Day

April 22, 2022

Environmental and Engineering Accomplishments Report 2021
Select the image to read the report

The Port of Seattle cares about the earth and climate change every day, not just on Earth Day. 

The Environmental and Engineering programs have built a stellar reputation for the Port as a leader in both infrastructure development and environmental protection. And 2021 was no exception. Through the challenges of a pandemic, the teams worked strategically and tirelessly to achieve a substantial number of accomplishments including more “firsts” for the Port.

These are just a few of the many highlights for 2021. See the Environmental Accomplishments Report for the full list of accomplishments. 

Climate, Air, and Energy

Cargo ship in Elliott Bay

Adopted the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy – an international collaboration between the Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma, Northwest Seaport Alliance, and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in British Columbia that sets a vision to phase out seaport-related emissions by 2050.  

Adopted Charting the Course to Zero: Maritime Climate and Air Action Plan, to address the urgency of the climate change crisis and to reduce Port-related air emissions in the region.

 Implemented first full year of a 10-year contract for renewable natural gas at SEA, achieving 50% reduction goal for Port-owned carbon emissions a decade early.

SEA-branded rental car buses

Completed a Port-wide Sustainable Fleet Plan with proposed actions to help fulfill our ambitious climate goals while meeting the needs of our customers and maintaining a robust and efficient operation. 

Drafted a Green Lease Guide to incorporate environmental and sustainability best practices into standard lease agreements. 

Habitat Restoration, Planning, Permitting, and Compliance

Photo credit: "Southern resident killer whales" by NOAA Fisheries West Coast is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Photo credit: "Southern resident killer whales" by NOAA Fisheries West Coast is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Worked with partners to officially set up the Quiet Sound program to reduce underwater noise impacts on orcas. 

Completed first Ocean Acidification Action Plan and many efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG emissions), the most important step towards combatting ocean acidification. Other active initiatives include enhancing shoreline habitat, reducing pollution, and building resiliency in local ecosystems related to ocean acidification.

Achieved LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the North Satellite project at SEA .

Remediation, Spill Response, and Waste Diversion

SEA recycling and waste

Diverted nearly 45% of solid waste at SEA from landfills by recycling and using all compostable or reusable service ware at SEA. And implemented a strategy to reduce single use plastics at SEA Airport.

Water Quality, Stormwater, and Industrial Waste Management

Completed the Maritime Stormwater Utility Strategic Plan and achieved permit compliance with municipal and industrial stormwater permits. 

Maintained Salmon-Safe certification. Since 2008, the Port has earned this certification by demonstrating its commitment to protect the Puget Sound water quality by enhancing the ecological environment and restoring salmon habitat. 

Engineering Design and Construction Management

Completed the 2021 Airfield Improvement Program paving work. It was the largest amount of paving done in a single season since the reconstruction of RWY 16C in 2015 and in many ways had more complicated phasing and impacts to our airline partners. Work was completed to meet the opening commitment during the wettest November on record and a looming concrete material supply issue. 

North Satellite interior featuring the art piece "Canopy".

Opened the North Satellite Renovation, under budget and ahead of schedule. A Northwest Construction Consumer Council Distinguished Project Award Winner.

Noise Management

Achieved an increased compliance rate of 100% for two months in a row (highest ever achieved) for noise abatement aircraft flight procedures monitoring and reporting. 

Facilitated EVA Airways to agree to change their nighttime flight from a Boeing 777 to a much quieter Boeing 787 — a significant noise reduction for the community. 

Port installs noise insulation as part of the Port's Sound Insulation program.

Accelerated the Sound Insulation Program to meet the Commission’s motion and completed sound insulation of 10 single-family homes and seven condominium units.

Awarded the Fly Quiet Program recognition to three airlines — British Airways, Frontier Airlines, and SkyWest Airlines. 

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