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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

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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