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Port of Los Angeles Shares Air Quality Technology with China, Taiwan

An executive delegation from the Port of Los Angeles is visiting China and Taiwan this week as part of a mutual pact between the United States and China to manage air pollution derived from marine vessels and ports. China is the Port’s number one trading partner, with more than $64 million worth of cargo coming through the Port of Los Angeles last year alone.

Discussions at the ports of Shanghai and Taipei will focus on reducing diesel emissions and managing urban air pollution resulting from port-related operations.

The Port of Los Angeles is planning a major shift to natural gas, electric vehicles and alternative fuels to reduce diesel emissions from the port. (Earlier post.)

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners authorized the acceptance of a grant on behalf of the Port of Los Angeles from the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) that provides $185,000 for a program facilitating the exchange of ideas on air quality technology between the ports of Los Angeles and Shanghai. Part of the funding will be used for the Far East trip.

The Port of Los Angeles will assist the Port of Shanghai in establishing an advisory group, which will be modeled after the California Air Resources Board’s Maritime Working Group. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency holds a cooperative agreement in environmental protection with China’s State Environmental Protection Administration.

On September 2, 2005, the ports of Los Angeles and Shanghai entered into a draft friendship port agreement and signed a letter of intent to collaborate on air quality issues. The Port of Los Angeles also has an established sister port agreement with the Port of Keelung, Taiwan and international offices in both China and Taiwan.

According to Container Management’s World Port Rankings for 2004, the Port of Shanghai ranked as the third busiest port in the world, with an annual container throughput of 14.6 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units)—a standardized maritime industry measurement used when counting cargo containers of varying lengths. The Port of Los Angeles ranked number one in the U.S. and eighth in the world, with 7.4 million TEUs.


Jesse Jenkins

I've heard that on certain days, a significant portion of the particulate matter in the air in LA has its origins in China. I think it's clear that air pollution ignores any political borders and it is good to see the Port of LA taking initiative to work across national boundries to takle this issue. More cooperation and technology sharing like this will be necessary in order to ensure that any emissions gains in the developed countries are not whiped out by the growth of developing nations. This is especially true of greenhouse gas emissions as global climate change is clearly just that, a global issue.


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