Ports propose changes to clean air action plan; public meetings scheduled

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clean air plan public meetingBuilding on the across-the-board success of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) adopted in 2006, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on April 7 released a proposed, updated Clean Air Action Plan that includes new, far-reaching goals for curbing port-related air pollution over the next decade.

With the original CAAP on track to meet or exceed air pollution-reduction objectives, the proposed update includes long-term goals, including an 85 percent reduction in cancer risk from port-related diesel pollution by 2020. In the works for two years, the CAAP Update is consistent with the ports’ pledge in the original CAAP that the plan would be a living document, updated periodically to ensure it remains current and forward-looking.

The original CAAP established the most comprehensive strategy for reducing port-related air pollution and associated health risks. The plan ushered in an array of air pollution control initiatives.  Among them: the ports’ award-winning clean truck programs, vessel pollution reduction programs,  and a Technology Advancement Program (TAP) that fosters the development of “clean technology” applications, like the world’s first hybrid-electric tugboat and the nation’s greenest short-line railroad.

“The Clean Air Action Plan, forged in cooperation between the ports and the regulatory agencies, has been extremely successful. Much of this success is due to our industry partners, who have accepted the challenge and responded with diligent efforts to clean the air,” said Richard D. Steinke, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “Now it is time to revisit, strengthen and update our programs and long-range goals with this revision to the CAAP.”

Over the three and a half years since the original CAAP was adopted, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have demonstrated their ability to work with industry and implement initiatives that achieve emissions and health-risk reductions.  In addition, significant regulatory changes have reduced emissions from all port sources: ships, locomotives, terminal equipment, trucks and harbor craft. The proposed CAAP Update builds on these successes, outlining strategies for the next five years, and identifying longer-term goals that will help the ports, regulators and the industry to achieve further air quality and public health improvements. These strategies will also allow port development and support the flow of goods so vital to the region’s economy.

The ports expect to exceed the estimates for reducing air pollution within the original CAAP’s five-year timeline. And going forward, the ports propose, as part of the CAAP Update, to adopt new “San Pedro Bay Standards” that will set ambitious and comprehensive air quality and health risk goals. Based upon a framework of state and federal air quality regulations and corresponding target dates, the Standards set goals for cancer risk reductions by 2020, as well as a series of emissions reductions by 2014 and 2023. To achieve all this, the CAAP will rely on a mix of existing technologies and strategies for the near term, technological advances that have yet to be identified to meet the long-term goals, and ongoing regulatory initiatives at the state, federal and international levels. Given the long-term trend for innovation in clean-air technology and the ports’ multimillion-dollar investments in a Technology Advancement Program, port officials are confident that new solutions will be created to help meet the ambitious new goals.

With the public release of the proposed CAAP Update, the ports have set a 30-day comment period to end May 7, 2010. Two public meetings have been scheduled to gather comments on the CAAP Update:

  • April 21, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)  at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Los Angeles Harbor, 601 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro  90731.
  • April 27, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at Long Beach City Council Chambers, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, 90802.

The Long Beach and Los Angeles boards of harbor commissioners will consider adoption of the Draft 2010 CAAP Update this summer.

The original CAAP and the Draft CAAP Update were developed with significant input and collaboration between the ports, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach are the two busiest U.S. seaports, moving $300 billion in trade each year and supporting more than 500,000 jobs in Southern California. The ports are a hub for ships, trains, trucks, tugs and other diesel-powered machines, which are leading sources of air pollution, posing a significant risk to public health. The ports are key economic engines and also world-leading environmental stewards.

See the Fact Sheet, FAQs or click here to see the entire document.
The public comment period is from April 7 to May 7, 2010 and you may e-mail your concerns to:  2010caap@cleanairactionplan.org
Or Mail: Port of Long Beach, Attn: Rick Cameron, 925 Harbor Plaza, Long Beach, CA 90802


One Response to “Ports propose changes to clean air action plan; public meetings scheduled”
  1. Ron says:

    I don’t know about being on track. I was in San Pedro and Long Beach today and I could actually taste the crap in the air. That caused me to leave the area without delay. Those who live and work there may be acclimated, but I can tell you the problem is severe.