Calif. plan would curb air pollution from shipping and cargo industries

Yesterday, the California Air Resources Board approved a far-reaching plan to reduce air pollution by the cargo-moving industry to 2001 levels — no small feat, as the amount of goods entering California ports is expected to triple in the next 15 years. A combination of regulations and business incentives, the plan would reduce diesel-related pollution from ports, railways, and trucking companies by 85 percent. Currently, the area near Long Beach and L.A. ports is a “diesel death zone,” according to a local ER doc. Unregulated, ships would produce 80 percent of the state’s diesel pollution by 2020. The ARB estimates its plan could eliminate thousands of cases of asthma and 1,500 premature deaths a year in that same time frame. “[N]ow is the time to take action,” said ARB Chair Robert F. Sawyer. Word. The plan awaits funding and approval of similar action by the feds.