U.S. EPA Bestows Environmental Award On Port of LB
(June 1, 2005) -- The May 31 meeting of LB's Board of Harbor Commissioners opened with a presentation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in which the Port of LB received one of EPA's 2005 Environmental Awards.
Wayne Nastri, the EPA's Regional Administrator based in San Francisco, came to the podium and told LB's Harbor Commissioners:
...I had the distinct pleasure last week of being in Washington, D.C. when our administrator was sworn in, and for the first time in history the President of the United States actually visited EPA to participate in the swearing in.
In that swearing in, the President said to all of us gathered that one of the things that we really need to focus on is to be able to maintain and increase the rates at which we achieve environmental protection. But we need to be cognizant of the way that we do that to maintain economic competitiveness.
I think you all here today certainly know that challenge quite well. How do we maintain the competitiveness of the Ports of southern California and still address the air quality challenges that are so intrinsic to southern California.
I think, when you think about the Environmental Protection Agency and you think about leadership and the things that we want to move forward, in terms of collaboration, in terms of partnership, you have done exactly that. Beginning with your Health Harbor Program, moving on to your Green Port Program, these are the types of leadership issues that we see paramount, challenges that you face, I think are surmountable.
The fact that you have done so much, through the leadership of your environmental department, I've known [PoLB Dir. of Planning] Bob Kanter [PhD] for quite some time, I know that not only does he really strive to achieve compliance, he strives to achieve beyond compliance, always thinking of innovative ways, and that's true for the entire department.
You've made [inaudible] how can we on a voluntary basis perhaps reduce diesel emissions, diesel emissions which have such profound impacts on the health of our sensitive populations including children and elderly. The issues and the manner that you've decided to tackle those issues I think are certainly laudable.
I'm here today to honor you for the environmental excellence that you've demonstrated.
Pictured (l-r) LB Harbor Comm'rs. Mario Cordero; James C. Hankla; Doris Topsy-Elvord; EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Natstri; Harbor Comm'rs. John R. Calhoun (president) & John W. Hancock. EPA photo, Francisco Arcaute
In accepting the award, Harbor Commission President John Calhoun said:
Mr. Nastri, we want to thank you and thank all of your memebrs of your organization for recognizing the Port. We're very pleased to have been nominated and we're more pleased that we were selected for this award, and thank you so much for recognizing all the efforts that our people, like Bob Kanter and the other people in our organization are trying to do clean up the environment and we look forward to working with you.
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I know we had a meeting about three months ago, we talked about the possibility of some kind of a private fund to be created to help alleviate the dirty truck, the diesel truck emission problem and we're hoping that that can be worked out some way. I think it's probably one of the only ways it's ever going to get funded, so we're looking forward to working with you on that kind of a program.
And [PoLB Executive Director] Dick Steinke and all of the management group are very dedicated to carrying out the Port's policies that we've set with our Healthy Harbor program and the Green Port policy...
An EPA release indicates that the Port of LB was selected along with 36 other "environmental heroes for their efforts to protect and preserve the environment during 2004." the release says EPA Pacific Southwest Region received more than 175 nominations this year.
An EPA spokesman told LBReport.com that the Port of LB submitted its nomination for the award.
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