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Ports Hosts Clean Air Workshops

July 9, 2006

Taking an unprecedented joint action to improve air quality in the South Coast Air Basin, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles today, June 28, introduced the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, a sweeping plan aimed at significantly reducing the health risks posed by air pollution from port-related ships, trains, trucks, terminal equipment and harbor craft.

The San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, released in draft for public review and comments, was created with the cooperation and participation of the staff of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Plan proposes hundreds of millions of dollars in investments by the ports, the local air district, the state, and port-related industry to cut particulate matter (PM) pollution from all port-related sources by more than 50 percent within the next five years. Measures to be implemented under the plan also will reduce smog forming nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by more than 45 percent, and will also result in reductions of other harmful air emissions such as sulfur oxides (SOx). NOx is a precursor of smog and PM has been shown to lead to health problems.

Under the Plan, the ports propose to eliminate “dirty” diesel trucks from San Pedro Bay cargo terminals within five years by joining with the state and local agencies to finance and pursue funding channels to help finance a new generation of clean or retrofitted vehicles. The ports, along with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, propose to allocate more than $200 million toward this specific effort.

The Plan also calls for all major container cargo and cruise ship terminals at the ports to be equipped with shore-side electricity within five to ten years so that vessels at berth can shut down their diesel-powered auxiliary engines. Ships would also be required to reduce their speeds when entering or leaving the harbor region, use low-sulfur fuels and employ other emissions reduction measures and technologies.

Within five years, all cargo-handling equipment also would be replaced or retrofitted to meet the toughest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards for new equipment. Without the Clean Air Action Plan, much of the cargo-handling equipment not affected by the California Air Resource Board’s recently adopted cargo-handling equipment regulation would be allowed to operate at current emission levels until it wears out.

Under the Clean Air Action Plan, diesel PM from all port-related sources would be reduced by a total of 1,200 tons a year and NOx would be reduced by 12,000 tons a year.

Following a 30-day period for public review, then subsequent staff revisions to the Plan (as appropriate), the Boards of Harbor Commissioners at both ports will vote on whether to adopt the Clean Air Action Plan and its proposed lease requirements, tariff changes and incentives.

The comprehensive San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan Technical Report and a more concise Overview are available electronically at this web site; printed copies are at the port headquarters and at local libraries. A series of meetings will be held on the following dates to present the proposals to the public and to gather their comments: July 10 (POLA); July 12 (POLB); July 19 (POLB); July 25 (POLA).  See below for details on public meeting dates and times. Comments about the Plan also can be submitted via e-mail at either caap@portla.org or caap@polb.com.

Moving more than $260 billion a year in trade and more than 40 percent of the nation’s containerized cargo, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are the two largest container seaports in the United States.  If taken together, the adjacent ports would be the fifth-largest container port in the world. The ships, trucks, trains and other diesel-powered equipment and craft at the ports are major sources of air pollution in a region that already has some of the worst air quality in the nation.

To view the 36-page plan overview, in plain text (125K) click here, or full graphics version (3 MB) click here.

To view a PDF filed of the plan overview in Spanish, click here.

The 230-page Clean Air Action Plan Technical Report has been subdivided into smaller PDF files for easier downloading:

To view a PDF file (1.5 MB) of the draft of the Clean Air Action Plan Introduction, click here.
To view a PDF file of the Clean Air Action Plan Goals click here.
To view a PDF file of the Clean Air Action Plan Strategies click here.
To view a PDF of the Clean Air Action Plan Initiatives Overview click here
To view a PDF of the Clean Air Action Plan Initiatives Details click here.
To view a PDF of the Clean Air Action Plan Emissions Reductions click here
To view a PDF of the Clean Air Action Plan Budget Summary click here
To view a PDF of the Clean Air Action Plan Appendix A click here

To view the full Clean Air Action Plan press release, click here.

To view the Clean Air Action Plan Fact Sheet, click here.

For more information about the upcoming Public Outreach workshops, click here.

To view a PDF (2 MB) of a PowerPoint presentation on the Clean Air Action Plan, click here.

To submit comments on the Clean Air Action Plan, please email caap@polb.com

Public comment on the Clean Air Action Plan will be accepted through July 28.

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