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FROM: ASSISTANT TO THE CITY MANAGER
DATE: APRIL 5, 2005
SUBJECT: PORT POLLUTION REDUCTION SENATE BILLS 764, 763, 762, 761, AND 760 (LOWENTHAL)
Consider taking a position on Senator Alan Lowenthal’s port pollution reduction package of legislative bills.
According to a recent article in the Long Beach Press Telegram, "Southern California exceeds federal standards for two pollutants found in abundance at the ports (of Los Angeles and Long Beach), nitrogen oxides, which combine with ozone to form smog, and particulate matter, which doctors believe inhibits lung growth in children and increases cancer rates." For many years, the communities surrounding the ports and environmentalists have raised concern of the environmental pollutants associated with diesel fuel emissions from port operations and trucks traveling on the highways to and from the ports for many years and within the past year the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have begun to explore and implement some advancements in pollution control policy and technology, however growth in port activity is expected to outpace any gains made by voluntary pollution reduction measures.
This issue of air pollution generated by port operations is one of Senator Alan Lowenthal’s legislative priorities. Last year Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed his Assembly Bill 2042, a pollution reduction bill that would have required the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to develop a baseline for air quality and to operate in a manner not to exceed the baseline of air pollutant emissions in following years.
Mayor Larry Clark and Councilmember Peter Gardiner requested Senator Alan Lowenthal’s legislative bills be placed on the agenda for consideration by the City Council.
Senator Lowenthal has introduced Senate Bill 764 along with four other bills that provide
the resources and incentives to reduce air pollution emissions from sources at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
A brief overview of the legislative bill package is provided below.
SB 764 Air Resources: South Coast Air Quality Management District
SB 764 would require the ports to develop a baseline for air quality to be based on the level of emissions from specified sources, to hold public hearings on baseline data and discuss potential mitigation and control measures to reduce emissions, establish a date for which to meet their baseline goals, and report their compliance to the South Coast and State Air Resources Board.
SB 760 Ports: Congestion Relief, Security Enhancement and Environmental Mitigation.
SB 760 would impose a $30 fee on each shipping container processed in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to be used to improve the rail system as an alternative to shipping via highway, enhance port security, and mitigate the environmental pollution caused by port operations.
SB761 Air Resources: Marine Terminals.
SB 761 would amend a previous Lowenthal bill, AB 2650, by requiring, rather than encouraging, each marine terminal to implement a scheduling or appointment system for trucks to enter the terminal to reduce truck idling time. In addition, each marine terminal would operate in a manner that does not cause trucks to exceed a turn time of 60 minutes while conducting business at the marine terminal. Marine terminals would be monitored for compliance and any violators would be fined. Existing law allows trucks to idle up to 30 minutes while waiting to enter the terminal.
SB 762 California Intermodal Port Congestion and Environmental Quality.
SB 762 also intends to address the on-going air pollution problem associated with the long lines of idling trucks emitting air contaminants that impact the health and safety of residents. Many idling trucks are exempt from present emission standards and many truck drivers continue to drive older trucks. SB 762 would create a port congestion and environmental quality district similar to the South Coast Air Quality District to evaluate and regulate intermodal port traffic. Among the various duties, it would have the authority to grant motor carriers a permit to enter a specific port for pick up or delivery of freight and determine the number of intermodal trucks need to efficiently move intermodal freight from marine terminals to the first point of delivery, unloading or interchange.
SB 763 Ports: Priority Berthing Program
SB 763 would require ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to give priority to ships using cleaner diesel fuel with no more than .2% sulfur content while in port and in California waters.
Should Council support Senator Lowenthal’s legislative bills in concept, staff will monitor them and prepare the necessary letters of support for the Mayor’s signature.
None associated with this report.
Assistant to the City Manager