Environment & Science

Harbor officials vote today on air quality improvement plans

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Harbor officials from Long Beach and Los Angeles vote today on plans to improve air quality at the ports.

The Clean Air Action Plan began four years ago – it's a planning document. It sets out goals, and each port makes its own rules to achieve them.

This year Los Angeles and Long Beach are updating the goals. Port officials say the plan being considered will set more aggressive strategies for cutting air pollution and health risks caused by cargo operations.

One area is the railroads. In the past, each harbor has tried to negotiate agreements to reduce diesel soot emissions voluntarily. That never worked out – but federal and state rules have since required railroads to make upgrades, and harbor officials are once again aiming to cut locomotive soot.

Port officials also say they're aware that some companies have started using mid-size trucks to get around the Clean Trucks Program's stricter rules. They say state air officials are working to close that loophole.