Searchable Goods Movement Timeline

Welcome to the METRANS Goods Movement Timeline. This is a searchable timeline of activities tied to goods movement, logistics and international trade based upon items from the popular press.

Given our location and the importance of this region as an international trade gateway, many of the entries pertain to Southern California. We do however draw from state and national press as well. Some articles' links may have expired, or you may have to pay a fee or register on the Web site where they originally appeared to access the complete article. Our goal however is to provide the researcher with enough information to track significant events over time as they have occurred in key areas like legislation, finance, and security.

This timeline grew out of timelines initially developed for METRANS research projects in the area of goods movement. Earlier entries (before 2005) were therefore not prepared with a searchable database in mind and will be less detailed. We hope, however, that they remain a useful resource.

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Sep 21, 2017

Clean-air solution has already arrived at Long Beach, L.A. ports: Guest commentary

Online Edition

Have you seen all those electric tractor trailers down at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles lately? If you haven’t, you’re not alone — because they don’t exist.

Not only are port communities being promised solutions that currently don’t exist. They are being asked to trade off a generation of clean air improvements on a promise of a technology that might or might not be available someday.

Finding a way to rapidly upgrade the fleet of port trucks is the here-and-now solution.

Clean diesel technology offers an answer, with immediate, cost-effective NOx and particulate-matter emission reductions. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Port Strategy Assessment, replacing just one older Class 8 dray truck with a clean diesel model can reduce emissions by 1,282 lbs.

This solution to reducing air pollution from trucks is what the Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbor Commissioners should be considering when they meet in November to give final approval to an update of the Clean Air Action Plan they adopted in 2006. The public review and comment period ended this month.

The harbor commissioners are wrestling with ways to cut air pollution to zero and near-zero emission levels by 2035 from port-related sources: ships, trucks, trains, harbor craft and cargo-handling equipment

One of the strategies being considered for trucks is converting the ports’ huge truck fleet from diesel to zero-emission technologies, such as renewable natural gas. But another alternative — clean diesel technology — is available now.

Nationwide, between 2011 and 2016, new-generation diesel commercial vehicles reduced 43 million tons of CO2, eliminated 21 million tons of NOx and eradicated 1.2 million tons of particulate matter.

Despite the obvious benefits, only about a quarter of California’s heavy-duty trucking fleet is equipped with the latest clean diesel technology. In fact, California — which boasts three of the nation’s “mega ports” and is home to the largest truck fleet in the United States — ranks 47th among the 50 states.

When at least 75 percent of port-related freight movements involve a segment by truck, failing to use the cleanest diesel trucking option available means a large fleet of older, pollution-prone trucks remain in service.

We’ve got to get realistic with the policies and approaches on reducing port emissions. The majority of truckers serving the ports are independent owner-operators. For them, their truck is their livelihood, and, while they would like to have a new vehicle, few can afford a better used truck. While electric drive sounds good, it’s not realistic today beyond a handful of demonstration projects. That’s not to say it might not someday become mainstream, but that day is not today.

When it comes to powering heavy things that move, like trucks, trains, ships and equipment, no other fuel source beats the power density, portability and availability of clean diesel. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation recognize that investing in near-zero emissions, clean diesel technology represents the most cost-effective investment strategy to reduce emissions.

There is no reason port communities should wait for cleaner air. They can have it now.

Online Edition

Have you seen all those electric tractor trailers down at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles lately? If you haven’t, you’re not alone — because they don’t exist.

Not only are port communities being promised solutions that currently don’t exist. They are being asked to trade off a generation of clean air improvements on a promise of a technology that might or might not be available someday.

Finding a way to rapidly upgrade the fleet of port trucks is the here-and-now solution.

Aug 28, 2017

How should Los Angeles and Long Beach ports clean the air?

Online Edition

The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach have promised to get to near zero emissions at the nation’s busiest port complex – but just how to achieve that ambitious goal is still being debated.

Now the public will get a chance to weigh in.

On Wednesday, port officials will hold one of the few public meetings before a rare joint meeting of the two commissions that run the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports. A vote on the final draft of a $14 billion clean air plan will take place in November.

The plan seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions and rid the port hub of harmful diesel pollutants. But it falls short of creating a set goal to further reduce diesel particulate matter, sulfur oxides or nitrogen oxides beyond those made in its 2010 plan. Instead, it relies on new, clean-burning technology to further slash emissions.

By 2035, for example, big-rig drivers picking up cargo at the port must meet zero-emission goals or will be forced to pay fees.

The shift to cleaner burning technology is aimed at eliminating the toxins at the port complex, which remains the single largest stationary polluter in Southern California.

Environmentalists want to see more aggressive actions to cut toxic emissions, while truckers, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, a trade group representing terminal operators, and others in the industry believe the cost to private companies could put many out of business and hamper the local economy.

Port officials estimate that converting the truck fleet to zero-emissions would cost up to $8.2 billion. Replacing diesel cargo-handling equipment on the docks with clean-burning equipment carries a $2.1 billion pricetag. And another $2.2 billion would have to be spent on infrastructure alone to support the upgraded equipment.

Port officials are looking to state and federal officials to help offset the cost, but much of the burden could land on private companies and investors.

With expenses so high, PSMA warns that the high-costs will push cargo away from the West Coast – where about 40 percent of the nation’s imports are brought in. Already the ports have lost market share to East Coast and Gulf Coast port.

The meeting on Wednesday is at 5 p.m. at Banning’s landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St., Wilmington.

Written comments can also be submitted to caap@cleanairactionplan.org/. The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. on Sept. 18.

Online Edition

The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach have promised to get to near zero emissions at the nation’s busiest port complex – but just how to achieve that ambitious goal is still being debated.

Now the public will get a chance to weigh in.

On Wednesday, port officials will hold one of the few public meetings before a rare joint meeting of the two commissions that run the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports. A vote on the final draft of a $14 billion clean air plan will take place in November.

Sep 07, 2017

Board approves 10-year Port of Los Angeles labor agreement

Online Edition

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a 10-year labor agreement today that aims for the Port of Los Angeles to continue hiring workers from the harbor area and high-unemployment communities in the city.

The Project Labor Agreement between the port and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council establishes wages, benefits and rules for employees working on designated port projects while guaranteeing they will earn prevailing wages outlined in the bargaining agreements of all participating unions.

The deal still needs to be approved by the Los Angeles City Council.

“The men and women who clock in every day at the Port of Los Angeles are a driving force in the global economy,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “This Project Labor Agreement will create new career opportunities that Angelenos deserve, and bring stability to operations as we invest billions in infrastructure that will define the future of the port.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the port must grant almost a third of the jobs generated by most major construction projects to residents of the harbor area and high-unemployment communities in L.A.

“This PLA builds on the previous five-year agreement that benefited working families in the harbor area and helped Los Angeles remain one of the top ports in the world,” said Ron Miller, executive secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. “I’m proud to say we are extending this agreement and doubling its term to 10 years. This is a huge vote of confidence in the men and women of our affiliated local unions.”

According to the port, the new PLA covers 38 planned and proposed infrastructure projects totaling around $780 million, with more projects likely to be added.

Under the prior agreement, the port completed 20 major construction projects and has six remaining, for a total investment of $848 million.

“Skilled workers and apprentices from our own communities provided approximately one third of labor to build these projects,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re eager to keep that momentum going so the Port of Los Angeles remains a modern, competitive and sustainable gateway that strengthens our communities while powering the nation’s economy.”

Online Edition

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a 10-year labor agreement today that aims for the Port of Los Angeles to continue hiring workers from the harbor area and high-unemployment communities in the city.

Sep 08, 2017

ILWU casuals protest outside union hall in Wilmington, demanding more work, benefits

Online Edition

Dozens of part-time dockworkers who have been waiting for years to land a full-time job protested outside their Wilmington union hall Friday, demanding they be given benefits and more work.

“They are frustrated,” said Paul Trani, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 63, representing marine clerks. “They have been sacrificing their family. Many have two jobs.”

It was unclear how many casuals demonstrated. Unconfirmed reports put the number at 300 Friday morning, with another gathering slated for Friday afternoon.

Officials from three ILWU locals — Locals 63, 13 and 94 — issued a joint statement Friday saying that they did not condone the action.

“As always, Locals 13, 63 and 94 are committed to fill all labor needed for the movement of cargo in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” the brief statement said.

More than 5,000 casuals pick up intermittent work along the docks at a dispatch center in Wilmington. The workers have been preselected in a random lottery, and once they build up enough seniority, they can qualify to pick up full-time work. But those rolls are rarely opened, and many part-timers have been waiting for more than a decade to land a gig.

One woman, who did not want to give her name, said she is a 35-year-old mother who has worked on the docks for 14 years and deserves to have job security and benefits.

Earlier this year, the Pacific Maritime Association, representing shippers and terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, along with the ILWU, held a random lottery for more part-timers, effectively expanding the list and making the wait times longer for those at the very bottom.

ILWU Local 13 asked the PMA to hire 600 casuals on a full-time basis, and ILWU Local 63 asked that 100 positions be filled in its union.

“We don’t have enough clerks to fill these jobs. We want more clerks,” Trani said. “Every day there’s at least a couple hundred jobs that go unfilled by (full-time) marine clerks.”

The PMA declined to comment.

About 46 percent of those casuals trained and approved to work make themselves available during any given week last year, according to the PMA statistics. And those casuals worked on average 1.6 eight-hour shifts per week.

Online Edition

Dozens of part-time dockworkers who have been waiting for years to land a full-time job protested outside their Wilmington union hall Friday, demanding they be given benefits and more work.

“They are frustrated,” said Paul Trani, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 63, representing marine clerks. “They have been sacrificing their family. Many have two jobs.”

Sep 10, 2017

710 Freeway expansion: What $12 billion will pay for ... maybe some day

Online Edition

By some estimates, it will cost the same as the 2,000-mile wall President Donald Trump wants to build along the Mexican border.

Nearly two decades in the making, it’s the proposed expansion of the 710 Freeway by adding lanes from Long Beach to East Los Angeles.

The projected cost: $6 billion to $12 billion, depending on which features are included the final plan.

Does it have a better chance to be formulated, funded and finished than the president’s bountiful barrier?

Fear of traffic, pollution and even possible displacement is stirring lots of anxiety among residents living in the 19-mile corridor’s path. But planners say the sky-high price tag means they won’t have anything to worry about for a long, long time.

“We simply don’t have these funds,” said Ernesto Chaves, project manager for Metro.

So far, the agency, along with the California Department of Transportation, estimate about $1.3 billion is available — over 30 years.

Breaking ground likely couldn’t happen until five years from now at the earliest. The project already is more than a decade behind schedule.

And about $60 million already has been spent on contractors, designers and technical staff.

The project will face its biggest bureaucratic hurdle early next year when the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board considers environmental documents laying out two project options.

The chances of completion don’t rest with the wishes of motorists who dream of a speedier commute. Inevitably, it’s a battle between commerce and residents’ quality of life — and planners’ methodical efforts to accommodate both.

Billions of dollars fly up and down the 710.

The freeway connects the mammoth twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the Inland Empire’s burgeoning warehouses and deployment centers, along with rail yards and warehouses around the southeast Los Angeles. Thousands of big rigs travel this key trade corridor daily.

It’s almost always busy. Anyone who’s pulled onto the 710 and found themselves trapped between towering trucks would use less polite words, such as “clogged” or “gridlocked.”

Some stretches of the interstate report some of the highest rates of truck-involved crashes in the region.

With so many diesel-burning cargo haulers jamming the corridor, nearby communities breathe some of the dirtiest air in the region.

Planners say the expansion is needed because of the expected increase goods trekking in via the ports, which plan millions of dollars in improvements to handle the upswing, including the expected arrival of supersized megaships.

Traffic is expected to skyrocket, from 55,000 truck trips to and from the ports daily to more than 110,000 — many bound for an ever-increasing number of logistics centers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

“Goods movements is so critical to Southern California” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments. “There is no question for the need to improve the 710.”

But like so many high-profile projects, he said, community opposition could ultimately tie up the project. It already has.

“We are saying yes, let’s do it, but let’s do it right. We need to build a consensus project,” said Susanne Browne, an attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles who sits on the Coalition for Environmental Health and Justice.

The coalition — a group of environmental justice groups, community organizers and nonprofit lawyers — has been fighting on behalf of residents along the 710 corridor.

Their efforts to prevent displacing residents and rising pollution levels slowed the process way down as designers huddled, responded and adjusted their plans.

CEHAJ persuaded transportation agencies to overturn earlier proposals — including one that sought to make the 710 freeway a 10-lane megahighway.

Organizers pushed for an alternative plan that included a suite of clean-air initiatives and the vow that no homes or businesses would be razed. The Metro board backed those efforts in 2015.

In July, Metro and Caltrans offered their compromise. Emissions-reductions efforts were included, Chaves said — but added that no plan, regardless of cost, could promise that no residents would be forced out.

Planners came up with two options:

• “Alternative 5c” would expand the current freeway from Ocean Boulevard to East Los Angeles.

The $6 billion plan would add an extra lane to the corridor between the 405 and 60 freeways to increase capacity and provide for truck-passing lanes. It also would include funds for the purchase of about 4,000 zero- or near-zero-emission trucks.

This variation would force 436 residents from their homes or businesses.

• “Alternative 7,” at a cost of $12 billion, would add a separate lane for zero- and near-zero-emissions trucks and offer incentives for buying 18,350 of those vehicles.

This plan would push 512 people from their homes.

Both clean truck programs could stand on their own and be funded up to any amount, making the plan unique in the world of infrastructure projects.

“If we don’t do this kind of investment, we are going to be sorry and we are going to fall behind in this global economy,” Ikhrata said. “Every country in the world is investing in rail and highways.”

Ikhrata said he is optimistic that the project will happen — though his tone is tinged with skepticism.

“There is tremendous opposition to expansion projects in the state of California,” he said, pointing to the north side of the 710, where community opposition ultimately blocked its growth earlier this year after decades of legal and political skirmishes.

The freeway extension in the San Gabriel Valley — proposed alternately as surface roads, a tunnel or other ideas — was rejected in May by a 12-0 vote of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Similar community concerns have snarled the southern expansion project, he said, driving up costs and burning up time. And there’s still the chance, he said, that the effort will end up in court.

CEHAJ has already declared that neither of the revised plans meet its expectations and is calling for more revisions to ensure no homes will be in the freeway’s path.

Chaves said those demands simply aren’t realistic.

“That’s something that remains a point of disagreement,” he said.

Moreover, the group is still demanding zero emissions — not just low emissions — along the freight corridor. And it wants assurances that construction will provide jobs for residents who line the corridor.

But he said, “even if we don’t build the project, the Metro and Caltrans and decision-makers in our region are going to have to make a decision how they are going to want to fund this program.”

Saray Almodovar, 17, lives with her family near the 710, just off Washington Boulevard.

She sums up the feelings of many of her neighbors when she says saving her family’s house is more important than assuring smoother future commerce.

“We are worried they want to knock down our homes,” she said. “It’s really unfair to even bring this up. Some homes around here are already paid for.

Online Edition

By some estimates, it will cost the same as the 2,000-mile wall President Donald Trump wants to build along the Mexican border.

Nearly two decades in the making, it’s the proposed expansion of the 710 Freeway by adding lanes from Long Beach to East Los Angeles.

The projected cost: $6 billion to $12 billion, depending on which features are included the final plan.

Does it have a better chance to be formulated, funded and finished than the president’s bountiful barrier?

Sep 13, 2017

No easy cures for Long Beach Freeway woes

Online Edition

The Long Beach Freeway has had many names in its storied history.

It started out as the Los Angeles River Freeway decades ago before finally being designated as the 710 and Long Beach Freeway.

But the clogged freeway also has more notorious names, like “Diesel Death Zone” and “Asthma Alley.”

And for more than 20 years there have been futile attempts to find a solution to this nightmarish, 19-mile corridor on Long Beach’s westside.

Once again, possible solutions are being talked about, but they are laced with pessimism because of the price tag: $6 billion to $12 billion, depending on which features would be included in the final plan.

It is a frustrating and perplexing situation.

The freeway is the main path used daily by thousands of trucks traveling from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to rail yards and warehouses around southeast Los Angeles and to the Inland Empire’s burgeoning warehouses and deployment centers.

Anyone caught between trucks knows what panic can mean. Some of the highest rates of truck-involved crashes occur on stretches of the 710.

And it’s going to get worse. Traffic is expected to soar, from 55,000 trucks trips to and from the ports daily to more than 110,000.

Planners have come up with two options: 1. Add an extra lane each way and include funds for the purchase of about 4,000 zero or near-zero emission trucks. Price tag: $6 billion. 2. Add separate lanes for zero- and near-zero-emissions trucks and offer incentives for buying 18,350 of those vehicles. Price tag: $12 billion.

What further complicates this vexing issue is that both options would force people from their homes. Those residents, understandably, are upset and may go to court to defend their homes.

The 710 expansion project will face its biggest political hurdle in a few months when the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority considers environmental documents laying out the two project options.

In the meantime, life on the Long Beach Freeway goes on with trucks spewing pollution, motorists hanging on for dear life and surrounding residents breathing in toxic air.

It’s not a pretty picture as officials, residents and motorists wrestle to find an answer.

Online Edition

The Long Beach Freeway has had many names in its storied history.

It started out as the Los Angeles River Freeway decades ago before finally being designated as the 710 and Long Beach Freeway.

But the clogged freeway also has more notorious names, like “Diesel Death Zone” and “Asthma Alley.”

And for more than 20 years there have been futile attempts to find a solution to this nightmarish, 19-mile corridor on Long Beach’s westside.

Jul 10, 2017

Trucker tells his story - and is fired for it

Print Edition

Rene Flores said he regularly broke the law as a port trucker in Southern California, hauling shipping containers up to 20 hours straight between Long Beach and Phoenix.

He kept a fake logbook tucked beneath his seat so regulators wouldn't know he was violating federal fatigue laws for commercial truckers.

He said his company paid him so little - and charged so much for his leased truck - that he had no choice.

Flores said his managers at Morgan Southern knew about his hours, but for years the trucking company looked the other way.

Then, the 36-year old father of two talked publicly about his illegal hours and explained how his company paid him as little as 67 cents for a week of work in a USA TODAY Network story. On June 17, the day after the story was published, Morgan Southern fired him.

Flores couldn't afford to pay off the $30,000 balance of his leased truck, so the company took that too. Flores lost $60,000 in payments he had since 2013.

What happened to Flores is just the lates episode in a decade-long struggle that has seen hundreds of port truckers in California turned into modern-day indentured servants.

As the USA TODAY Network reported last month, many of these drivers say they were forced by their bosses to sign lease-to-own truck contracts, which put them in debt to their own employers. The trucks are so expensive - up to several thousand dollars a month for paymets and maintenance - that some drivers say they have no choice but to work 15 to 20 hours a day.

Drivers who refused to work or filed complaints say they faced retaliation by their employers, who could fire them or assign them lower-paying routes until they actually owed money to their company on payday.

In case after case, drivers who quit or got fired lost their trucks and everthing they had paid toward owning them.

Flores said hew as 10 months from the end of his lease contract when he was fired.

"Can you imagine sacrificing four years?" Flores said of the long days away from his wife and two sons, often for pay that dropped below minimum wage. "For all that sacrifice, I thought the truck would be mine."

As part of a year-long investigation into port trucking, the USA TODAY Network interviewed Flores and reported his story. He said he worked up to 20 hours a day and used a fake logbook to avoid detection by federal regulators.

"Of course they (his employers) know," he was quoted as saying in the original story. "But the company doesnt care."

Robert Milane , a spokesman and lawyer for Morgan Southern's parent company, Roadrunner Transportation, confirmed that Flores' public criticism, coupled with the fact that he refused to use electronic logbooks, forced the company to act.

"The fact that he stated that in his interview, we had no choiceto terminate his lease," Milane said. "He brought this on himself."

Milane also denied Flores drove more than federal law permits. He said Morgan Southern's electronic time logs prevent any driver from doing so.

"What he says wasn't true," Milane said. "I know he wasn't running over hours."

But Flores said he would simply switch over to paper logbooks when he knew he would be working past federal limits.

Another Morgan Southern driver, Jose Juan Rodriguez, told reporters in December that when he was still leasing his truck, he, too, often drove well past the legal limit. "Many times," he said, "we complain to the supervisor but we're told that if we aren't willing to work, 'there is the door.'"

Since July 2015, Morgan Southern has been cited 15 times for hours violations in California, according to Department of Transportation records.

Using California's open-records law, reporters obtained a port authority database that records the exact time a truck enters or exits the gate at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

A USA TODAY Network analysis of the data shows Flores' truck was in operation for at least 14 hours without the requried 10-hour berak at least nin times from 2013 to 2015. That number is likely an undercount because one of his more frequent routes took at least 13 hours, meaning he wouldn't pass through port gates enough to be flagged as working too long.

Other Morgan Southern trucks appear to hace axceeded hours limits more than 500 times from 2013 to 2016, the data show. Three out of four of the company's rigs went over hours at least once.

It is not clear whether these instances are violations becasue two drivers might divide time behind the wheel of a single truck.

Trucking experts and regulators say it can be a federal crime for company managers to knowingly send drivers on the road past federal limits.

Companies are responsible for tracking their workers' hours, even if they're classified as independent contractors, said Craig Weaver, a motor carrier safety specialist with the California Highway Patrol.

"They know how many hours their guys are working," he said. "Or they should."
Kelsey Frazier is a Teamster trustee and foreman at another California port trucking company, Pasha Hawaii. He said most companies have safety managers whose job is to track how long truckers have been on the road. Frazier said companies should know if drivers are over on their hours because they control when drivers are dispatched.

"I can promise you the company is tracking this," hes said. "Because you're liable if you dont."

 

Print Edition

Rene Flores said he regularly broke the law as a port trucker in Southern California, hauling shipping containers up to 20 hours straight between Long Beach and Phoenix.

He kept a fake logbook tucked beneath his seat so regulators wouldn't know he was violating federal fatigue laws for commercial truckers.

He said his company paid him so little - and charged so much for his leased truck - that he had no choice.

Flores said his managers at Morgan Southern knew about his hours, but for years the trucking company looked the other way.

Jul 19, 2017

LA, Long Beach ports will spend as much as $14 billion to clear air pollution

Online Edition

Declaring it the largest environmental investment ever undertaken by a cargo complex to wean itself off diesel dependency, Los Angeles and Long Beach port officials today unveiled their Clean Air Action Plan update – with a price tag that could reach $14 billion.

The latest installment in a decade-long effort to reduce pollution along the docks – which has already drastically reduced the toxic soup around the mammoth complex – aims to replace dirty-burning trucks and cargo-handling equipment with gear that produces zero, or almost zero, emissions.

Officials didn’t soft-sell the price, acknowledging that it will place “an enormous financial burden on the ports and goods-movement industry,” even if government helps foot the bill.

CAAP is the heart of the joint vow made by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia to make the nation’s busiest port complex a nearly no-pollutant zone by 2035.

If the promise is kept, the project will eliminate the region’s largest stationary source of pollution. Diesel emissions have been linked to higher rates of asthma and respiratory problems in communities around the ports – and Gov. Jerry Brown has staked his legacy on fighting climate control in the state.

Here’s how the long-awaited plan aims to work:

The strategy at a glance

  • The bottom line: CAAP would convert the port’s huge truck fleet from diesel to zero-emission fuels, develop and deploy green-burning gear to load and unload ships and assertively grow pollution-cutting programs for port-run vessels and other ships.
  • The timetable: Last fall’s draft version was broadly scrutinized and subsequently revised – and more review will come quickly. Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor commissions must approve the plan – and a vote is expected in November.
  • How you can get involved: A new public comment period for the plan extends through Sept. 18 and officials will be holding a public workshop on Aug. 30 at Banning’s Landing Community Center. For more info: www.cleanairactionplan.org.

The price – and how to pay it

  • The bottom line: Between $7 and $14 billion will be spent to rid the ports of machines now powered by fossil fuels.
  • The breakdown: As much as $8.2 billion will be spent to deploy zero-emissions big-rigs – and another $1.03 bullion to deploy near-zero emissions vehicles.
  • Cargo handling: Green-burning equipment will cost as much as $8.2 billion. The infrastructure to support it? Another $2.2 billion.
  • At berth: As much as $138 million will be spent to reduce emissions where ships are moored.
  • Ships: As much as $137 million would pay for incentive programs to reduce emissions produced by cargo craft visiting the ports.
  • R&D: $22 million would fund research, development and demonstration of new gear.
  • Who pays for it? Starting now, port officials are looking for support from the state and federal government.

Brown and the Democrat-dominated legislature are likely proponents. But the reception from Washington D.C. is likely to be a lot chillier. With Donald Trump in the White House, California can no longer rely on the administration for rubber-stamped support of its environmental goals.

Regardless, the plan makes it clear: “Outside of any state and federal funding … these costs will be borne by the ports themselves and private industry.”

How fast? Officials will need much of the funding within five to seven years to ensure there is the infrastructure in place to convert to zero emissions beyond that time.

Air – and how to clean it

  • The bottom line: The plan seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions and rid the hub of harmful diesel pollutants. Why? In the areas closest to the ports, asthma hospitalization rates among children – who are more sensitive to toxic air – are higher than other parts of Los Angeles. One study suggests freight pollution costs Long Beach and Riverside, where much of the container traffic winds up, about $18 million annually to address asthma and respiratory problems.
  • The breakdown: Targeted cuts in greenhouse gases are 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The plan doesn’t create goals to further reduce diesel particulate matter, sulfur oxides or nitrogen oxides beyond those made in its 2010 plan. Instead, it relies on new, clean-burning technology to further slash emissions.
  • The response: The move is likely to upset environmentalists who wanted to see more aggressive efforts to eliminate the most toxic of pollutants.

“The mayors laid out a bold vision for what they expect. What people are going to look at is, ‘does this plan live up to this vision?'” said Adrian Martinez, an attorney for Earthjustice. “You have to have a way to measure success otherwise it’s another policy plan that could be dismissed at the whim of future harbor commissions,” he said. “Emissions commitment are important.”

Trucks – and what they’ll run on

  • The bottom line: Since 2006, the clean ports program has focused on cleaning up diesel trucks, a major driver of harmful pollutants. The ports vow to intensify that effort.
  • The breakdown: Truckers must register their big rigs with the port to bring loads in and out. Next year, all new trucks that register must meet 2014 emissions standards. The standard will be upped to near-zero emission in 2023 for newly registered trucks. But that leaves thousands of trucks with older engines that belt out pollutants. There are about 16,000 trucks serving the port, and every year about five percent – or 800 trucks – in the fleet are new. So, the conversion to cleaner trucks will come slowly.
  • Penalties: In 2035, big rig drivers not meeting zero-emissions at the port must pay a fee.
  • Waiting: An appointment system for truckers aims to prevent drivers waiting hours for a load to arrive, their idling engines stirring up pollutants.
  • The loophole: Port officials earlier proposed an even more stringent regulation that would have imposed fees and restrictions on all trucks 10 years or older but had to nix the idea because of a concession the legislature gave the trucking industry.

The industry supported Brown’s $5 billion a year plan to fix crumbling transportation infrastructure by raising fees on vehicles and gas. In exchange, the trucking industry could keep dirtier burning trucks that have 800,000 miles – or up to 18 years of service – without having to worry about testing.

“Without the state moving forward on new requirements,” said Heather Tomley, director of environmental planning at Long Beach’s port, “we are not in a position to accelerate what they have done.”

On the dock – and at the shore

  • The bottom line: Ports will sink millions of dollars into testing and developing near-zero emissions technology with the hope of bringing to market a new generation of equipment to make the ports run faster and cleaner.
  • The breakdown: Officials aims to fill the docks with zero-emission terminal equipment by 2030, another goal of Gov. Brown.
  • Rail: Port officials hope to get half of all the containers coming in from Asia and other markets on rail, rather than on truck trailers, to ease congestion on freeways and eliminate some pollution.
  • Ships: The ports can’t control the fuel burned by ships that bring in cargo. But they will extend the vessel-speed reduction program, which keeps ships from burning excessive amounts of fuel. And ports will continue to encourage shippers to use plug-in technology while along the docks.

The response

  • From the ports: “A major part of our success is going to be getting as much funding as we can to support this transition,” said Long Beach’s Tomley, who helped put together the plan.
  • From shippers: “The CAAP puts all its eggs in one basket by unrealistically assuming that non-existent, non-automated, zero-emissions electric cargo handling equipment technology will be developed, tested, work as planned and be affordably mass produced to meet the ports’ rigid timelines,” John Mclauren, president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association said in a released statement. “That’s a pretty big assumption with no margin for error and no Plan B if and when something goes wrong.”
  • From the trucking industry: “It is important to set goals that are reasonable and attainable, and that we don’t saddle an industry that has invested billions of dollars in clean technology with a mandate that is not viable commercially or operationally,” said Weston LaBar, Executive Director of the Harbor Trucking Association. “There are still many questions regarding zero emissions truck technology. It is important that the ports insure the final plan paves a path forward for affordable and efficient movement of cargo through the San Pedro Bay Complex first, and that sustainability is a by-product of a healthy supply-chain in the region.”

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Declaring it the largest environmental investment ever undertaken by a cargo complex to wean itself off diesel dependency, Los Angeles and Long Beach port officials today unveiled their Clean Air Action Plan update – with a price tag that could reach $14 billion.

The latest installment in a decade-long effort to reduce pollution along the docks – which has already drastically reduced the toxic soup around the mammoth complex – aims to replace dirty-burning trucks and cargo-handling equipment with gear that produces zero, or almost zero, emissions.

Aug 16, 2017

LA FLEET WEEK® 2017 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS ANNOUNCED

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SAN PEDRO, Calif. - LA Fleet Week® 2017 returns to the LA Waterfront this Labor Day Weekend with a full line-up of entertainment, new attractions and friendly competitive events. With even more planned for the Monday holiday this year, the four-day event’s action-packed schedule has just been released at www.lafleetweek.com.

“This year’s LA Fleet Week has something for everyone to enjoy,” said Jonathan Williams, executive director of the LA Fleet Week Foundation. “We’ve also added many new attractions on the Labor Day holiday so that families can come to the LA Waterfront and make a full day of it.”

The San Pedro Historic Business District officially kicks off festivities Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. with a Hollywood-themed welcome party in downtown San Pedro. Free and open to the public, the party will celebrate the thousands of active service members from the visiting military ships arriving throughout the week.

In line with its mission to honor the nation’s military, this year’s LA Fleet Week will feature even more military equipment displays and demonstrations than last year’s inaugural event. There will also be a U.S. Bank Veterans Village, Sailor Bar on the Battleship IOWA, and aerial search-and-rescue demonstrations throughout the weekend. Free public tours of visiting military ships will take place daily, but available only on a limited, first-come, first-serve basis for those without previously booked online reservations.

New this year will be displays and booths highlighting first responders and emergency/disaster preparedness at the LA Fleet Week “Humanitarian Village.” Participants include the Los Angeles Emergency Management Division, Los Angeles Police Department, MySafeLA, and Team Rubicon USA, a disaster response veterans service organization. Returning by popular demand will also be the STEM Expo, an interactive and fun way to expose children of all ages to science, technology, engineering, and math.

A two-day rivalry basketball tournament between the City of Los Angeles and U.S. Military presented by Ariza Elevated Game Awards is slated for Saturday and Sunday, which is free and open to the public. For the Labor Day Monday holiday, organizers have added a full day of activities, starting first with the “Conquer the Bridge” race across the Vincent Thomas Bridge and a celebratory Victory breakfast for race participants. Later in the afternoon, a ‘Galley Wars’ culinary competition among cooks representing the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and Royal Canadian Navy, which is also free and open to the public. The cook-off judging panel includes celebrity chefs Robert Irvine, Mei Lin, and Steve Samson. After an evening of popular tribute bands, British rockers The Babys take the main stage to close out the four-day celebration.

Throughout the weekend, LA Fleet Week will also feature free performances by a variety of entertainers and musical acts, including the Bob Hope USO. Other evening headliners include rock band Quiet Riot, followed by Grammy award-winning Los Lobos on Friday. Saturday night’s concert will feature rocker Vince Neil, lead vocalist of Mötley Crüe, followed by a fireworks display presented by the Annenberg Foundation. Country rockers Shannon Rae and Brent Payne take the main stage on Sunday night.

LA Fleet Week is a U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard tradition, in which active military ships recently deployed overseas dock in a variety of major cities for one week. In November 2015, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, U.S. Navy officials and the Port of Los Angeles announced that Los Angeles had been selected as an official Fleet Week market for the U.S. Navy.  Last year’s inaugural event drew more than 200,000 people.

LA Fleet Week major sponsors include American Airlines, Andeavor, The Annenberg Foundation, Bob Hope USO, Clyde & Company, Delta Airlines, East West Bank, F&M Bank, Liberty Creek Wines, NBCUniversal, UPS and US Bank.  Providing overall leadership and guidance for the event is the LA Fleet Week Leadership Council, comprised of community leaders in various sectors who are dedicated to supporting and advancing the mission of the annual LA Fleet Week event. 

In addition to the LA Fleet Week website where visitors can get event information and sign up for email updates, event developments are also being announced on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as @LAFleetWeek, or can be tracked on social media using #LAFleetWeek2017.

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SAN PEDRO, Calif. - LA Fleet Week® 2017 returns to the LA Waterfront this Labor Day Weekend with a full line-up of entertainment, new attractions and friendly competitive events. With even more planned for the Monday holiday this year, the four-day event’s action-packed schedule has just been released at www.lafleetweek.com.

Aug 18, 2017

EMISSIONS AT HISTORIC LOW WHILE CARGO AT HISTORIC HIGH AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES

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SAN PEDRO, Calif. –  The Port of Los Angeles achieved record clean air gains while moving more cargo than ever, according to the Port’s 2016 Inventory of Air Emissions. Released today, the annual report also shows the Port surpassed its 2020 goal for reducing the health risk of emissions from port-related activity.

“Our ports are the engines that power our economy, and they can also be the forces that drive our region toward a greener, healthier future,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “These outstanding results are a powerful demonstration of how we can continue making our air cleaner even as we move record amounts of cargo at the Port — and I’ll keep pushing for continued progress toward the goal of zero emissions goods movement at the ports.”

“The 2016 report validates the benefit of our clean air strategies in combination with improved operational efficiency,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re proud of the extraordinary progress we’ve made reducing emissions since 2006, and we’re determined to do more in the years ahead.”

Calendar year 2016 marked the Port’s highest reduction of all key pollutants. Since the Port’s baseline inventory in 2005, diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions have fallen 87 percent, sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions have plummeted 98 percent, and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions have dropped 57 percent.

During the same period, the Port moved more than 8.85 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), maintaining its ranking as the Western Hemisphere’s No. 1 container seaport and surpassing the Port’s earlier record of nearly 8.47 million TEUs set in 2006. The 2016 peak represents an 18 percent increase in cargo since the 2005 baseline inventory.

DPM emissions are also used to assess health risk. The Port met its 2020 goal in 2014 when it lowered DPM emissions 85 percent. With an 87 percent reduction in health risk in 2016, the Port continues to exceed its 2020 goal.

“As emissions decline and cargo throughput rises, chipping away at what’s left gets tougher,” said Port Director of Environmental Management Chris Cannon. “The 2016 report reflects tremendous strides we’ve made with the help of all our industry and community partners.”

Highlights of Results

A closer look at the numbers reveals the extent to which 2016 was a banner year for the Port’s air quality improvement gains. From 2015 to 2016 alone, pollution is down 13 percent for DPM, 10 percent for NOx and 14 percent for SOx.

On a per TEU basis, the 2016 findings are even more remarkable. For every 10,000 TEUs handled at the Port complex, DPM emissions are down 89 percent, NOx is down 63 percent, and SOx is down 98 percent. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are also at their lowest – down 28 percent – for every 10,000 TEUs.

The latest findings are based on data collected during calendar year 2016 and reviewed by regional, state and federal air regulatory agencies. The inventory is a detailed report card documenting the impact of all strategies for curbing every source of port-related emissions: ships, locomotives, trucks, cargo handling equipment and harbor craft.

Full implementation of the Port’s strategies under the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), compliance with government air quality regulations, and improved operational efficiencies worked in concert to achieve the 2016 gains. Operational efficiencies include a chassis pool serving the entire complex, advanced planning for the largest ship calls, and additional measures that vessel operators, terminals, railroads, trucking companies and other Port partners collaborated on and adopted to prevent the congestion that slowed cargo during late 2014 and early 2015.

Substantial progress in reducing emissions from ships played a key role in the 2016 results. Factors include the ongoing trend of fewer vessel calls due to bigger ships carrying more cargo, fleet compliance with California’s shore power regulations for an entire year without congestion, and an increased use of alternative emissions capture technology when plugging into shore-side electricity is unavailable.

Increased compliance with cleaner vessel fuel regulations, continued participation in the Port’s Vessel Speed Reduction Program, and growing participation in the Port’s voluntary Environmental Ship Index program also led to clean air progress. The latter offers incentives that encourage vessel operators to bring their cleanest ships to Los Angeles and demonstrate new onboard pollution reduction technology.

Going forward, the Port is aggressively pursuing new clean air measures while cargo throughput continues to rise. The Port is continuing its focus on reducing health risk and criteria pollutant emissions, especially NOx, while increasing efforts to reduce GHGs. To accomplish this, the Port is working with its industry partners to implement near-zero and zero tailpipe emissions strategies. These include expanding demonstration projects to test zero emissions drayage trucks and launching new projects to test near-zero and zero emission yard tractors and zero emissions top handlers for which the Port has secured funding from the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission.

The increased emphasis on GHG is reflected in the proposed 2017 CAAP Update, which sets new targets for reducing GHG emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. A joint document of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the 2017 CAAP is available at http://www.cleanairactionplan.org for public review and comment through Sept. 18. Commissioners from both ports are slated to hold a joint meeting to consider the final version in November.

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovatively strategic and sustainable operations that benefit Southern California’s economy and quality of life. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $272 billion in trade during 2016. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs in the five-county Southern California region.

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SAN PEDRO, Calif. –  The Port of Los Angeles achieved record clean air gains while moving more cargo than ever, according to the Port’s 2016 Inventory of Air Emissions. Released today, the annual report also shows the Port surpassed its 2020 goal for reducing the health risk of emissions from port-related activity.