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    Council Backs AB 2042 (Lowenthal Zero Net Increase in Port Air Pollution) Bill & And Two Related Port-Pollution Bills

    (May 5, 2004) -- At its May 4 meeting, the LB City Council adopted a resolution (text below) backing AB 2042 by Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal (D., LB-SP-PV) requiring a zero net increase in air pollution from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

    The resolution, which passed on an 8-0 vote (Vice Mayor Colonna absent for entire meeting) left two City of Long Beach entities taking opposite advocacy positions: one by LB's elected City Council supporting the bill, and one by LB's non-elected (Mayor chosen, Council approved) Harbor Commission opposing the bill and seeking to work with the bill author on amendments.

    Council on AB 2042, 5/4/04
    Courtesy LBTV channel 8
    Speakers supporting AB 2042 outnumbered maritime interests in opposition.

    Port of LB Executive Sectretary Gus Hein testified against the bill.

    This marks the second time in less than two years that two City of LB entities have taken conflicting positions on pending state legislation. In August 2002, LB's Board of Harbor Commissioners voted to oppose a bill by Assemblyman Lowenthal that the City Council supported on reducing truck idling times at the Ports of LB and L.A. The bill was subsequently amended, gained Port approval and passed in Sacramento.

    No member of the City Council publicly questioned, or asked the City Attorney for a remedy concerning, actions by the Board of Harbor Commissioners that take legislative advocacy positions in conflict with those stated by the City Council.

    The Council resolution on AB 2042 is as follows:


    WHEREAS, Harbor Departments of the Cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach predict that truck traffic to and from the ports of San Pedro Bay will more than double in the next 20 years from roughly 35,000 trucks to nearly 83,000 trucks per day; and

    WHEREAS, ships and trucks emit air contaminants, including oxides of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter; and

    WHEREAS, state air regulators have stated that diesel engine exhaust poses a serious health risk, that it increases chances of lung cancer, intensifies asthma attacks and in some studies has been linked to infant mortality; and

    WHEREAS, a landmark study conducted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District entitled, "Multiple Air Toxics Exposure Study" or MATES 11, attributed 70% of all health risks from mobile sources in the South Coast Basin to diesel engine exhaust;

    WHEREAS, AB 2042 would require a zero net increase in air pollution as the ports of San Pedro Bay grow and expand.

    NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Long Beach resolves as follows:

    Section 1. That the City Council supports AB 2042 in order to protect public health and safety by avoiding an increase in air pollution from the ports of San Pedro Bay.

    Sec. 2. That the City Clerk is directed to transmit a copy of this resolution to the Governor, to the members of the California Legislature representing the Long Beach and Los Angeles areas, and any other officials, agencies, entities, and individuals as may be deemed appropriate.

    Sec. 3. This resolution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption the City Council, and the City Clerk shall certify to the vote adopting this resolution.

    The Council also voted to support two other Port-related anti-pollution bills by Assemblyman Lowenthal (on which the Harbor Commission has not taken a public position): AB 2041 would put a fee on containers shipped by truck in both ports between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. AB 2043 would establish a CA Maritime Strategic Port Master Plan Task Force to consider (among other things) port growth, security, environmental concerns, coordination with other state ports and other topics.

    The Council supported AB 2041 on an 8-0 vote, but voted 6-2 for AB 2043 (Lerch, Carroll dissenting) after Councilmembers Lerch and Carroll voiced concern over future risk to LB's home rule on Port matters if a state body became involved.

    Previous coverage:

  • May 4, 2004: Assemblyman Lowenthal Amends Parts of AB 2042 Re Zero Net Increase in Port Air Pollution
  • LB Harbor Commission Still Votes 5-0 To Oppose Bill Based On Old Text
  • LB Councilmembers Scheduled To Take Position Tuesday Nite

  • May 1, 2004: LB Port & LB Council On Collision Course -- Again -- This Time Over Assemblyman Lowenthal's AB 2042 For Zero Net Increase In Port Air Pollution

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