Port of L.A. moves forward with broader environmental initiatives

New plan pledges to address environment and community concerns for crucial watershed...

SAN PEDRO, CA, April 15, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a $1.2 million plan to establish a wide-ranging Environmental Initiatives Program (EIP) at the Port of Los Angeles.

"The entire Southern California region benefits economically from having the nation's busiest container port in its backyard," said Mayor Jim Hahn. "But there are also effects on our environment and communities, and this new port program will go a long way to solving these issues."

A portion of the program budget will fund three-year agreements with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) and Shaw Environmental Inc. to assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan for the port and its customers.

"The port felt it needed a solid umbrella program to encompass its many environmental initiatives," said David Mathewson, director of planning and environmental affairs. "We also wanted to address outreach to the community in our program, and we feel the structure of our new Environmental Initiatives Program will help us achieve these objectives through the most effective process."

The EIP provides a foundation for the integration of new environmental policies into a comprehensive system and viable management program. Expanding on the more than 20 environmental initiatives and programs the port has in place, the EIP's umbrella approach will help the port to address the impact of the port's activities, products and services on the environment and community.

In addition to giving critical consideration to air and water quality, the EIP will address environmental realities that affect the day-to-day life of harbor community members -- such as traffic, aesthetics, noise and lighting -- along with equally strategic concerns over security, health and safety.

With a long history of leadership in the environmental arena, in 1973, the Port of Los Angeles became the first port authority in the nation to create an Environmental Management Division. In 2003, the Port was one of 11 U.S. seaports chosen to participate in the Port Environmental Management System (EMS) Assistance Project, established by the EPA and American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). In 2004, the Board approved an Environmental Policy to better manage its resources, while conducting Port developments and operations in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner.

Over the last few years, the Port has implemented numerous air quality initiatives under the Port of Los Angeles Clean Air Program (POLACAP), an initiative aimed at reducing port-related emissions from Harbor air. The POLACAP's successes include the Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) and Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR) programs, and the combined use of emulsified diesel fuel with the installation of Diesel Oxidation Catalysts (DOCs) on terminal yard equipment.

The Port of Los Angeles is America's premier port. As the leading container port in the nation and a critical hub in the international supply chain, the port generates thousands of stable jobs and billions of dollars in annual wages and tax revenues. The Port of Los Angeles also places a high priority on responsible growth initiatives combined with high security, environmental stewardship and community outreach. It's a proprietary, self-supported department of the city of Los Angeles.

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