First school air filtration contract awarded 3 years after TraPac settlement

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Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

File photo: Pupils listen to their teacher in a classroom on the first day of the school year.

Harbor-area schoolchildren will get air filtration systems in their classrooms as part of the first grant project from a new South Bay foundation.

The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation, the group that’s making the grant, exists because port officials, private business, community groups and environmentalists averted a pretty big lawsuit.

The settlement three years ago concerned expansion at the TraPac terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. Money made the deal possible – up to $50 million of it, tied to the amount of new traffic at the terminal.

The neighborhood gets air quality improvement projects. The port gets more business from TraPac. This first grant for classroom air filters is a $6 million project – it's getting underway even before the new foundation has an executive director.

Only one company qualified to do the work, but its air filters are in Long Beach schools where they've got a demonstrated track record of cutting particulate matter from indoor air. The South Coast Air Quality Management District will run the project; that agency will use up to 10 percent of the grant for administration.

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