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    DLBA Board Votes To Support Senator Lowenthal's Container Fee Bill (SB 760) For Port Security, Container-Related Rail Projects, Air Pollution Mitigation

    (August 16, 2006) -- The governing board of Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) voted this morning (Aug. 16) to support SB 760 by State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D., LB-SP-PV) which would levy a fee on each cargo container processed at the Ports of LB and L.A. to fund projects related to port security, rail movement of cargo containers and mitigation of port-related air pollution.

    At our request, DLBA Executive Director Kraig Kojain provided us with a summary of salient events on the item at today's meeting.

    After a presentation last month by Senator Lowenthal seeking DLBA's support for his bill, DLBA's Executive Committee sought additional information from the Senator. This morning, DLBA's Executive Committee recommended (conveyed by DLBA chair Jane Netherton) that the board take "no position" on SB 760...and DLBA boardmember Becky Blair so moved.

    Ms. Blair's motion died for lack of a second (after an initial second recused himself stemming from an affiliation with the Port's legal counsel).

    DLBA Boardmember Kamran Assadi then moved, and Boardmember John Morris seconded, a motion to support SB 760. The motion to support SB 760 carried (with one "no" vote from Ms. Blair and one abstention [the recusal]).

    As described in an Assembly Committee legislative analysis, revenue generated by SB 760 would be allocated three ways:

    • One-third to the state for allocation by the CA Transportation Commission (CTC) to fund rail improvement projects related to container cargo movement to and from the ports.

    • One-third retained by the ports to fund projects that improve the security of the ports.

      One-third to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to mitigate environmental pollution caused by the movement of cargo to and from the ports via commercial motor vehicles, oceangoing vessels, and rail. Projects funded by this allocation are limited to those that reduce air pollutant emissions from sources located at the ports.

    As previously reported by, Sen. Lowenthal told a July public hearing that the "Clean Air Action Plan" advanced by the Ports of LB and L.A. needs revenue from SB 760's container fee (as well as statutory teeth in Lowenthal's SB 764 establishing baselines and limits for port pollution).

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