Extra $9 million in incentives will expand Port’s Green Flag Program

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The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners gave preliminary approval to nearly $9 million in extra incentives to further boost participation in the Green Flag air quality program and to increase the use of trains to move import and export cargo containers.

The Green Flag Program, which gives financial incentives to ship operators to slow down their vessels near the Port of Long Beach, will double to $6 million a year.

Currently, nearly all ships docking at the Port of Long Beach slow down within a 20-mile zone around the harbor. The added incentives are expected to encourage more ships to slow within 40 miles, further decreasing air pollution from the ships’ diesel engines. In 2009, the Green Flag Program helped reduce about 2,000 tons of pollution; the expanded incentives could reduce an additional 300 tons.

For a copy of the Board agenda item click here.

The Port also will add nearly $6 million in incentives to a program designed to attract more rail-borne cargo through the Port of Long Beach. The program, which gives fee discounts to terminal operators, was set to expire on April 30, 2010, but it is now extended until December 31, 2010. The program is designed bring more import cargo through the Port of Long Beach and to help the Port’s customers stay competitive during the current economic downturn.

In a related action, the Board also agreed to eliminate potential double wharfage fees for export containers that are transported between terminals. The Board is expected to give final approval to the items in the coming weeks.

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