Big Turnout For 2nd Annual Port of Long Beach "Green Port Open House"
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(October 7, 2006) -- A big crowd -- perhaps twice as large as last year -- turned out for the Second Annual Port of Long Beach "Green Port Open House."
Spanning a four hour period (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), shuttle buses brought visitors from the overflow Queen Mary lot. One after another they came, slowly at first, building through midday. We estimate roughly 3,000, perhaps 4,000 people attended over the entire period.
LBReport.com provides extended coverage below.
Vice Mayor/1st dist. Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal arrives.
Much like last year, visitors were inquisitive...and responded positively to exmples of cleaner technologies.
This display showed a model of a shore-side system being tested in which ship emissions are captured by an overhead bag/hood.
This is the much-discussed shore-side electrical power for ships at berth ("cold ironing").
BP's "Krystallon," which a display poster said addresses the "spiraling cost of low sulphur fuels" with "zero visible emissions, proven +95% reductions in SO2 emissions, particulates and VOCs stripped by +80%." Compare smokestack photos on poster.
Harbor Commissioners Mario Cordero and Doris Topsy-Elvord chatted...and offered us comments:
Commissioner Cordero: "One of the displays we have here that's so exciting is the retrofit with regard to the diesel engines, particularly the trucks. That's one of the areas that's very problematic in terms of port operations, and we're making every effort we can to have these aletrnative fuels come to this port...In sum, I think in the next five years, as part of the 'Clean Air Action Plan,'we're going to have a lot of substantive results from mitigating emissions with regard to port operations. And lastly, I most definitely think that what started in part the 'Clean Air Action Plan' was the Port of Long Beach passage of the Green Port policy, because that took the environmental initiatives to another level, and of course we're not finished with all we need to do, but I think that as you see here today, we've made a lot of progress."
Commissioner Topsy-Elvord: "We want the people to know that the Port belongs to them, the Port belongs to the community. And the advocate of the Green Port policies is Mario Cordero, he's the one who has pushed it. And you know under my tenure [as Harbor Comm'n President] I got small business enterprise and very small business enterprise...which means about 20 to 25% of port contracts have to be laid over and big companies have to get a small business enterprise company, or a very small business enterprise company, and let them have part of the contract...so that the little people get included.
"We also said we have to stop the pollutants, we have to find a way. So Mario kept talking about it, and we got on board, the staff got on board. We're changing the way that the port operates, hopefully, because we want people to understand we all breathe the same air, the port belongs to the community, and we want to be friends."
City Auditor Laura Doud chatted with Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal. Auditor Doud told us a little later, "This is a really great event, a lot of people here, learning more about the Green Port policies here."
9th district Councilman Val Lerch inspected hot dogs grilled by LB Firefighters local 372. He told us later, "I think [this event] is absolutely wonderful...This is a 180 degree turn from three years ago, the transparency the Port is trying to show, to be open to the community is wonderful, and this is a prime example of what they're doing to try and be more transparent."
Harbor Commission President James C. Hankla told the crowd it was a pleasure to "share the many things that are going on at the Port of Long Beach to clean up our environment while we sustain our economy." He continued:
Habor Comm'n President Hankla: "Probably some of you remember not too long ago there was a lockout at the ports, and the ports shut down for some period of time. The impact on the economies nationwide was $1 billion a day.
"The challenge we have is to sustain that economic power, but at the same time recognize that we have many serious problems with the environment, and work on every one of those problems every single day, with a singlemindedbness that will clean this place up in five years and we will be, I believe, the cleanest port in the world, and that is our goal."
Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal: "As Vice Mayor, I'm really pleased to be here on behalf of Mayor Bob Foster who had another commitment...As you know, Mayor Foster and myself and the entire City Council see the preservation of our environment and the protection of our residents' health as a top priority. That's why we as a Council recently formed an Environmental Committee of the City Council.
"And also, just like the Harbor Commission, the City Council has proudly endorsed Proposition 1-B on the ballot in November, which would mean over a billion dollars in clean air initiatives, the other 19 billion dollars is for transportation infrastructure, and I'm proud to say I am endorsing Proposition 1-B.
"I'm also a boardmember of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, and I'm also committed to making sure that the Port has more on-dock rail which will further reduce traffic on the 710 freeway and reduce pollution.
"And as a boardmember of the L.A. County MTA, one of my highest priorities is ensuring that the 710 freeway is built in the quickest, most environmentally friendly and residentially sensitive way. [applause] If we can achieve this, we will indeed realize a dramatic reduction in traffic and air pollution. I particularly wanted to thank [Harbor] Commissioner Mike Walter for sitting on the executive committee of this 710 EIR...
"I have the north harbor in my district, in district 1, and have been a proud partner with the Port since I was first elected. I'm pleased that through their green leases, the Port of Long Beach is implementing technology that I proposed years ago and that is ship-to-shore electrification or "cold ironing."...
"The Port of Long Beach has come a long way in a very short amount of time, and I think we would all agree that they are going in the right direction. I know that as all of us visit the booths and speak to the port employees, we will be sharing ideas about how to make our environment cleaner, and I trust that as they have demonstrated here today, they will hear our concerns and sincerely seek to be the best neighborhood that they could possibly be."
Harbor Commissioner Dr. Mike Walter said:
Commissioner Walter: "I want all of you to know that this woman [Vice Mayor Lowenthal] serves the City so well and the Port so well. She's a real believer, driver, pusher, leader, she's at the front of the parade when it comes to cleaning up the environment, cleaning up the air...[S]he's a real leader in cleaning up the trucks, we're spending hundreds of millions of dollars to do that, but it's her effort and her vision...
"And I would like to say that both she, and the Mayor, and other members of the Council are solidly behind our efforts to improve the environment, clean up pollution, and we're making tremendous investments. And it is the City Council that helps us to understand that we have to make investments if we're going to improve the environment, clean up the pollution, and things like that.
"So we want to have trucks on the 710 go 45, 55 miles an hour instead of 5, a lot less pollution...And it's the leadership of Vice Mayor Lowenthal that helps us, and Mayor Foster is also helping us and he's going to help lead the parade in this effort. We know what we want to do, and there isn't any difference between what the City Council wants to do and what the Harbor Commissioners want to do..."
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