Operators of two Southern California ports are taking an
unprecedented joint action to improve air quality in their areas.
On Wednesday, June 28, officials from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach introduced the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, a
program aimed at significantly reducing the health risks posed by air pollution
from port-related ships, trains, trucks, terminal equipment and harbor craft.
Following a 30-day period for public review and comment, the
harbor commissioners at both ports will vote on whether to adopt the Clean Air
The plan 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.
According to a press release, the plan proposes hundreds of
millions of dollars in investments by the ports, the local air district and
state and port-related industries to cut particulate matter pollution from all
port-related sources by more than 50 percent within the next five years.
The plan also will reduce smog forming nitrogen oxides emissions
by more than 45 percent, and will also result in reductions of other harmful
air emissions, such as sulfur oxides.
The ports will join with the state and local agencies to
finance new 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.