Two busiest California ports propose pollution regulations

The peerlessly polluting ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., will propose far-reaching environmental policies today. “What we’re doing right now is a no-growth, job-losing, cancer-causing plan, and we’re just not going to do that anymore,” said David Freeman, chair of the L.A. Harbor Commission. What they aim to do instead is require all ships calling at the two large ports to switch to low-sulfur fuel, use other emission-reducing technologies, and plug in to local electrical power at docks instead of idling. Trains and trucks at the ports would also have to clean up their acts. The policies, says Freeman, would reduce diesel emissions at the ports by as much as 85 percent in a decade or less, even as trade traffic with Asia increases. Shippers, while not opposed to the regulations in theory, hope for flexible timetables. Says Julie Masters of the Natural Resources Defense Council, “We’re on the precipice of a revolution.”