Clean Port

The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the largest in the nation as well as the single largest fixed source of air pollution in Southern California.  Collectively, sources at the port are responsible for more than 100 tons per day of smog- and particulate-forming nitrogen oxides – more than the daily emissions from all 6 million cars in the region.  In addition, the California Air Resources Board estimates that port air pollution creates cancer risks exceeding 500 in 1 million for tens of thousands of residents.

SCAQMD’s Clean Port Initiative includes four guiding principles and seven action items outlining steps that the SCAQMD, along with federal and state agencies and local and international ports can take to help reduce port pollution in the region.  A workplan (PDF, 186kb) for the “Clean Port Initiative” has been adopted by the SCAQMD Governing Board.

A key component of the plan calls for the development and adoption of SCAQMD “backstop” rules that would take effect if the ports and other agencies did not take sufficient actions in a timely manner to reduce emissions. 

Other measures in the work plan include: air monitoring, enhanced review of the air quality impact of port and goods movement projects using CEQA to define detailed recommendation for alternatives or emission mitigation measures, coordinating with the local harbor commissions on joint actions, meeting with the leaders of large Asian port to coordinate emission control measures, supporting legislative efforts to fund port cleanup, and urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt stricter standards for ocean-going ships.

The work plan also includes a discussion of why additional SCAQMD actions are needed to supplement state, federal and international port air pollution regulations, and an analysis of SCAQMD’s legal authority to regulate air pollution sources in the ports.