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California settles with cargo terminals over diesel engine exhaust

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

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

Approved 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.

In addition, the terminal operators will have to warn the public that they are being exposed to diesel exhaust, as required by Proposition 65. The settlement requires the terminal operators to keep giving the warnings—at bus stops, in newspapers and on the Internet—until diesel emissions no longer pose a significant risk to the community.

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.

In February, Attorney General Harris filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case in support of efforts by the Port of Los Angeles to reduce air pollution through its Clean Trucks program.


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