16 August 2011

California Attorney General announced a settlement with cargo terminals at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles over diesel exhaust emissions. The settlement requires the terminals to complete projects to reduce their diesel emissions and better notify the public of emissions.

The Attorney General filed suit in June alleging the terminals violated California Proposition 65 by exposing thousands of neighboring residents to high levels of diesel exhaust without giving the required warning.

Approved yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the settlement requires the terminals to:

  • implement an innovative warning program using newspaper ads, bus shelter signs and the internet to inform the community about the diesel exposures;
  • undertake projects valued at $1 million per terminal to reduce diesel emissions from their respective operations; and
  • pay monies to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles for projects to lower diesel emissions from the trucks, tractors and trains that operate at the port.

The $1 million projects to be undertaken at the seven terminals include pilot projects to test solar electric panels that withstand the salt water environment and a crane mounted system to capture exhaust from idling vessels. The terminals will also pay $756,000 to the Port of Los Angeles for grants to allow small trucking firms to buy new, low-emission trucks; $324,000 to the Port of Long Beach for projects for clean running trucks and locomotives; and $540,000 in civil penalties.

The seven terminals at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles that cause the largest diesel exposures to the surrounding neighborhoods are: APM Terminals Pacific, Ltd.; Eagle Marine Services, Ltd.; International Transportation Service, Inc.; SSA Terminal (Long Beach) LLC; SSA Terminals, LLC, Pacific Maritime Services, L.L.C.; Trapac, Inc.; West Basin Container Terminal LLC; Yusen Terminals, Inc.

California Proposition 65 requires the state to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. “Diesel engine exhaust” has been listed as a cancer causing chemical since October 1990. Businesses are required to notify the public about significant amounts of the listed chemicals in consumer products, in homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.

Source: California Attorney General