California sea ports plan a clean up

August 3, 2006

The U.S. seaports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, among the largest in the world, are planning a major clean up effort.

The $2 billion project -- called the first of its kind in the United States -- is aimed at improving the environment by reducing emissions produced by the ships, trucks, cranes and locomotives that operate along the waterfronts, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

While the two ports combined are among the top five in the world, they are also among the biggest polluters. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says if there are no changes, by 2030 smog-causing nitrogen oxide emissions and particulate matter at the ports will double their current levels.

The California plan, expected to be formally adopted next month, is designed to cut particulate matter by 81 percent and nitrogen oxides by 62 percent within five years, the newspaper reported.

"California historically has been the laboratory from which others learn," Bill Becker, executive director of the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators, told the Post. "It started regulating cars in the 1960s. Now, while the rest of the country is sitting idly by, its ports are taking appropriate steps as well."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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