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    Councilmembers Dan Baker & Bonnie Lowenthal Do It Again, Agendizing Another Port Anti-Pollution Measure For Council Vote: Request City Mgr. To Work With Harbor Dept. To Halt Idling Of Ships While At Berth in Port of LB

    (December 13, 2002) -- In a second significant indication of what LB elected officials now expect from their City's Port and those who use it, Councilmembers Dan Baker and Bonnie Lowenthal -- whose districts respectively include the Port of LB and adjacent areas -- have agendized the following item for the December 17 City Council meeting:

    "Request the City Manager to work with the Harbor Department to halt the idling of ships while at berth in the Port of Long Beach."

    The item follows an August 2002 success by the two Councilmembers in winning Council approval (8-0, Kell absent to attend outside event) to support then-pending legislation Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal to reduce diesel emissions by limiting the allowable time trucks can idle in port terminals. The bill in its then-pending form was opposed by the Council-appointed Board of Harbor Commissioners but was subsequently amended to remove opposition and ultimately enacted into law.

    In their agendizing memorandum to the Mayor and Councilmembers on the ship idling issue, Councilmembers Baker and Lowenthal explain:

    Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn recently signed a landmark agreement with shipping lines to eliminate idling by ships while at berth in the Port of Los Angeles.

    Diesel exhaust from ships is a major contributor to air pollution in the Los Angeles basin. Switching from the ships' diesel engines to clean electricity while at anchor will significantly reduce pollution in the region.

    To accomplish this goal, several hurdles must be overcome including getting power to the docks, working with the Coast Guard who currently requires ships to idle while at berth and many others. While these issues are not insignificant, the environmental benefits make them worth overcoming.

    We respectfully ask the Council to join us so that Long Beach can be part of this landmark environmental effort.

    Suggested action: Request City Manager to work with the Harbor Department to halt the idling of ships while at berth in the Port of Long Beach.

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