(July 19, 2006) -- Tonight's the night for the final LB-located public comment meeting on the ambitious draft Clean Air Action Plan jointly released by the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles: 7 p.m. at LB's Cesar Chavez Park, 401 Golden Ave..
At the first LB meeting a week ago, public officials (Councilmembers Rae Gabelich and Patrick O'Donnell and State Senator Alan Lowenthal), and repreentatives of clean air groups and a major railroad turned out, public participation was, well, noticably thin.
Tonight's meeting at a community site is an opportunity for LB community members [and others] to be heard in person. (Written comments will be received through July 28; and there's a Port of LA sponsored meeting in San Pedro's Peck Park on July 25).
At last week's LB community input meeting, State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D., LB-SP-PV) commended the Ports for their Clean Air Action Plan but said the Plan lacks needed revenue from a container fee (SB 760) and statutory teeth for enforcement (SB 764) [bills he's authored and is pursuing in Sacramento]
"[W]hat we're really saying is that if the state and the public, the people here, are going to pay almost a billion dollars out of public funds, then the private sector which benefits from the use of this infrastructure must be a full financial partner in the implementation of the Clean Air Action Plan in order for it to be successfully implemented," Senator Lowenthal said. He continued:
"We have to build in to any of our plans, if we're investing billions of dollars, accountability. Everyone must be accountable and we must have put into statute, another bill, SB 764 does, we must put into statute quantifiable air quality standards which must be attained by 2010 which allows for the disbursement of these public funds, but if not attained, there must be significant financial penalties. We cannot tolerate after 2010 any increase, we must begin to demonstrate as a first step that we're beginning to bring that pollution down. We cannot simply dole out billions of dollars and not reduce the pollution."
He said this, face to face, to a panel chaired by Port of LB Planning Director Dr. Robert Kanter, PoLA's Ralph Eppy and representatives of U.S. EPA, CA Air Resources Board and South Coast AQMD (agencies which assisted the Ports in developing the draft plan).
What will you, and other LB community members, say tonight?
The Ports' Clean Air Action Plan is posted on Port of LB website www.polb.com and is accessible via the links below: