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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Conservation group promotes 'Ports for People' ordinance

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024   

Groups concerned about air pollution and public health are asking the city councils of Long Beach and Los Angeles and their respective Harbor Commissions to pass major restrictions on air pollution from ships.

The "Ports for People" ordinance would require agencies to take steps to reduce pollution from cargo ships by 50% from 2019 levels by 2030, and to achieve 100% zero-emission shipping at the ports by 2040.

Dawny'all Heydari, climate campaign advocacy manager for the nonprofit Pacific Environment, said ships running on fuel oil and Liquefied Natural Gas need to be phased out.

"These fuels are filled with asthma and cancer-causing pollutants that are contaminating communities like my own in Long Beach with shorter life expectancy and childhood asthma," Heydari pointed out. "We're advocating for a transition to zero-emission fuels to power shipping."

This week, advocates gathered signatures in favor of the ordinance at Cal State Long Beach and presented them to the Long Beach Harbor Commission. They hope to spur the shipping industry to switch to greener alternatives, such as battery electrification, wind-assist propulsion and "green hydrogen" fuel cells.

Heydari noted Pacific Environment has had positive conversations with some members of the Long Beach City Council and hopes they will take bold action in the future.

"When California cities institute these kinds of regulations, it forces the industry to evolve because the industry is primarily concerned about its own profits," Heydari asserted. "It's not really primarily concerned about sustainability, nor public health."

A 2019 study from the City of Long Beach found the average life expectancy in West Long Beach next to the port is eight years shorter than the average in Los Angeles County.

A 2021 study by the California Air Resources Board found fuel pollution from pandemic-era cargo ship congestion at the San Pedro Ports caused an increase in particulate matter emissions equivalent to 100,000 semi tractor-trailers per day.

Disclosure: Pacific Environment contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, and Oceans. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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