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Ports Announce Sweeping Clean Water Plan

The September 17 meeting invites the public to learn more about the environmental initiative

September 15, 2008


The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are developing a coordinated effort to eliminate pollution sources in the San Pedro Bay. A public meeting will be held on September 17, 2008 at 1 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles to kickoff the Water Resources Action Plan (WRAP).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory agencies will be working with the ports to target remaining water and sediment pollution sources in the San Pedro Bay. 

Stakeholders will be invited to play a role in the development of the WRAP. The public meeting will be held Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 1 p.m. in the Board of Harbor Commissioners Hearing Room, Port of Los Angeles, 425 S. Palos Verdes Street in San Pedro.

While water quality at the two ports has improved dramatically in the decades since the passage in 1972 of the U.S. Clean Water Act, the ports have determined that better regional coordination will build upon existing programs and further improve water quality. The development of the Water Resources Action Plan will bring together multiple stakeholders to systematically identify sources and types of residual water and sediment pollution, and coordinate effective cleanup strategies.

"We've made terrific progress in cleaning the air through a collaborative approach, so it was only natural that we'd also take the same approach in working together to improve the quality of water in San Pedro Bay," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.

"The Port of Long Beach is very proud of its successful clean water programs," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. "This additional program will provide a framework through which we can work with regulatory agencies, our neighboring port and other partners to ensure that water quality continues to improve in the harbor."

The water and sediment quality in San Pedro Bay has improved greatly over the last 40 years through increased monitoring, more aggressive regulation by state and federal agencies, better pollution source control and dredging that has removed accumulated contaminants in harbor sediment. However, the ports face ongoing challenges from contaminants that remain in port sediments, flow into the harbor from port land, and flow from upstream sources in the watersheds, well beyond the ports? boundaries.

Environmental experts from the two ports are working closely with federal and state officials to develop measures that will further minimize landside and waterside sources of pollutants in the San Pedro Bay. The WRAP will incorporate these new programs while continuing the many clean-water initiatives already under way at both ports. The ports will incorporate input from multiple stakeholders during development of the WRAP.

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