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    AQMD To Hold "Town Meeting" In LB Thurs Nite, Full Board Meeting In LB Friday Daytime, Both At LB City Hall

    (November 1, 2006) -- The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) will hold a Long Beach "Town Hall Meeting" on Thursday November 2 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) followed the next morning by a full, formal monthly governing board meeting on Friday November 3 (starting at 9 a.m.) in the Long Beach City Council Chambers.

    Among those participating with be AQMD's newest governing board member (since July 2006), 7th district LB Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga who represents 61 eastern L.A. County cities on AQMD's 12-member policy setting body. AQMD is the regional air pollution control agency for major portions of L.A., San Bernardino and Riverside counties as well as OC.

    Councilwoman/Boardmember Reyes Uranga, who will moderate Thursday night's "Town Hall Meeting," says on her City Hall website that it will be an open forum with discussion topics including "air quality issues for healthier port communities, San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan [and] upcoming AQMD programs and action items."

    The next morning, AQMD’s entire Governing Board will conduct the agency's formal monthly meeting in the LB City Council Chambers starting at 9:00 a.m., Friday, November 3.

    "Both meetings will provide members of the community direct access to address the AQMD Board on major air quality topics," Councilwoman Reyes Uranga's webpage says, adding that free parking will be available at the Broadway Parking Garage.

    AQMD's website says that Thursday evening's "Town Hall" meeting will include a "brief presentation on AQMD’s programs to monitor and reduce emissions at the ports" after which "the public will have the opportunity to voice their opinions about air pollution generated by the movement of goods through the ports, among other issues of concern."

    The next morning, November 3 starting at 9 a.m., AQMD's entire governing board will hold its second "Mobile Board Meeting" in the LB Council Chambers. "During the meeting, AQMD staff will brief its Governing Board on the recently released draft Air Quality Management Plan, which outlines measures for reducing emissions from all sources, including the ports," AQMD's website says.

    AQMD's website adds that "the future of air quality in the ports area" will be the focus on the two meetings. "Goods movement starting at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach generate massive emissions throughout the region," says AQMD Board chair William Burke. "This is a significant public health and environmental justice issue of the highest priority."

    AQMD's website adds the "timely meetings will take place as the ports consider adopting and implementing the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan."

    In a letter addressed collectively to community leaders, Councilwoman/Boardmember Reyes Uranga writes in part:

    The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have long been the largest fixed source of air pollution in the region. While the AQMD has the overall responsibility for controlling air pollution in the region, port-related sources contribute 45% of SOx, 11% NOx, and 7% of PM2.5. Pollution from port sources is expected to grow and contribute 73% SOx, 24% of NOx and 9% of PM2.5 by 2020.

    We need your help to protect the environment by cleaning the air that we breathe. The recently released San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) and new AQMD programs aim to reduce emissions from port and area goods movement operations. We need to hear from you and your constituents at this town hall meeting to ensure the CAAP will help us reach the challenge of meeting federally mandated air quality standards.

    Councilwoman Reyes Uranga's letter adds that both meetings "will provide you and other members of the community direct access to address the AQMD Board on major air quality topics. I look forward to welcoming you on November 2 as we continue our commitment to take all feasible steps to reduce air pollution at the ports and protect residents’ public health."

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