Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098
mayorsam@mayorsam.org

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Some Light Reading Material

Harbor






For those of you wanting a piece of light reading before bed, the "No Net Increase" Air Quality Task Force has released it's final report (603 Pages) for your perusal.

According to their press release:

The 603-page report identifies 68 control measures that could be pursued over the next 20 years as part of a massive effort to control port-related air emissions from the ships, harbor craft, rail operations, cargo terminal equipment and trucks that operate in the Port and throughout the region, which is a major Pacific trade gateway and one of the nation's most critical goods movement corridors.

"Reviewing this report, I have a great sense of accomplishment," said Mayor Jim Hahn. "No other Port in the world has put this much collaborative effort and energy into seeking ways to reduce the air emissions associated with its operations. This is truly a breakthrough document. My No Net Increase policy will leave the Port communities, and the entire Los Angeles region, breathing easier -- a legacy I am very proud of."


A "legacy I am very proud of?" While the report took nine months and thousands of hours to compile, if started in say, the beginning of your four year term as opposed to the end of your term in a desperate throw to win an election, your "legacy" might just have been extended.

Oh well. Here's to hoping our new crop of leadership has the guts to actually implement this study, and not just let it collect dust like many of it's predecessors.

38 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hahn's legacy....in 4 short years a 60% increase in truck traffic and diesel carcinogens. Way to go Jimmy!
How many cases of asthma and premature death does that add up to?

June 29, 2005 3:11 PM  

Anonymous Noel Park said:

Thank you Mayor Sam for your last paragraph above. Those of us on the front lines in Wilmington and San Pedro are in your debt.

June 29, 2005 3:59 PM  

Anonymous Noel Park said:

Well now I realize that it was actually Mayor Frank, but it's all to the good because it gives me a chance to thank you all again.

This is literally a matter of life and death for hundreds of people in our communities, and a matter of sickness or health for thousands more.

I honor you for your courage and understanding in raising this issue in such a straightforward way. Your last paragraph says it all.

June 29, 2005 4:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

you really think Hahn had that much impact on LA traffic? I think population increase (for example) and lack of investment by the state/federal on transportation infrastructure had more of an impact.

June 29, 2005 4:48 PM  

Blogger Mayor Frank said:

Noel - Glad to see I have a fan. Forward me info/updates at MayorFrank@gmail.com and I'd be happy to keep the pressure on. That goes for your pals Janet, Greig, Jody and gang who posted on the Amerigas post earlier too. If you "learn me" (I'm a product of LAUSD) I'd be happy to forward the cause

June 29, 2005 5:03 PM  

Blogger ubrayj02 said:

I am a nobody in this debate, but I had a chance to study this whole port-congestion thing a few years ago for a member of the legislature.

Begin rant:

Dear anonymous, our economy relies, more so than ever, on the traffic from the ports. All of this "more trade at the ports is bad!" stuff is a lot of moaning from people who don't see the problem cleary enough.

Pollution sucks. That is a given. Yet the local and state government has no almost no direct authority over the sources of pollution at the ports. They DO have authority over access to the ports. Pollution from too much truck traffic is due to:
a.) a lot of beneficial trade (which we need)
b.) profit being made off of the inefficient movement of goods

Focusing on the efficient movement of goods in and out of the port facilities is the only real way local authorities can curb pollution. Setting up a system of time-based fees, and bonuses, for containers moving into and out of the ports in a certain window of time will incentivise effeciency.

Business at the ports needs to continue for our region economic health. Our city's forefathers spent a lot of dough building the infrastructure for trade - it is a folly to throw this investment away. By making commerce flow more smoothly at the ports, and adding incentives to the efficient movement of goods (and fines for inefficiency), we can control pollution without having to wait for Congress to regulate diesel emissions and without causing life to be hell for the thousands of hard working truck drivers, drayage co's, and shippers out there (by forcing them to run 24 hours, or pay stupid fees, or bankrupt them with forced engine upgrades).

Gubmint needs to facilitate an efficient marketplace at the ports - it will reduce pollution, and it will create more jobs for more people.

Anyway, Hahn has almost nothing to do with imports flooding into our markets. That is global economics doing its thing.

June 29, 2005 8:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wow. An actual intelectual conversation from people willing to use their real names. Is this blog becoming mainstream?

June 29, 2005 9:22 PM  

Anonymous noel park said:

Thank you Mayor Frank. I am a product of LAUSD myself (Venice High), as are my two sons (Taft and San Pedro). They have both graduated from college, by the grace of God. They seem to be making their way quite well in the world, if the air they breathed in San Pedro all those years doesn't kill them.

So, despite my comment on the proposed LAUSD parking structure the other day, there is some hope, if enough good people engage and push. Thank you for the post on the parking structure. It was just a perfect symptom of one of the underlying problems.

As to the Port, I can blog all day on that, but how about this for starters.

ubray02 stated very clearly the argument we always hear about why trade is good, and we should just shut up and stop whining about the consequences for our communities.

The problem with that is the huge costs generated by the port industry which are externalized onto the public. As part of the "NO Net Increase" effort, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the South Coast Air Management District (SCAQMD) calculated that, if the control measures identified in the study are not adopted, the cost will be 2200 premature deaths and over $20 BILLION in health related costs over the next 20 years. CARB reported that the money figure is almost certainly low, because there are literally dozens of documented health impacts from diesel exhaust exposure for which no monetary cost has been calculated.

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has said that, when the costs of traffic delays due to port trucks on the streets and freeways (driven on the 710 lately?) and the cost of wear and tear on the transportation infrastructure (driven the 710 lately?), all borne by the public, are added, the port industry is the most highly subsidized industry in California.

Now, the port industry is asking the public to pay for billions of dollars in infrastructure improvements to facilitate "goods movement". According to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) the number is $15 billion.

Thus, we are subsidizing with our health, our quality of life, and our tax dollars the export of our manufacturing economy and the consequences for our balance of payments.

What is the true botom line of all of this? Nobody knows. A year ago, the Port of Los Angeles Community Advisory Committee, sensing these issues, asked the Harbor Commission to undertake a study of the public policy issues raised by port expansion, to be done by the PPIC or the Rand Corporation, or some entity of equal credibility. This has not been done. They do not want to know. In the absence of such information, intelligent decisions about port growth cannot be made.

One thing is for sure. The Port of Los Angeles is the largest single source of toxic air pollution in the
South Coast Air Basin. Hundreds of people die, and thousands are made sick as a result.

For an agency of the City of Los Angeles to be the biggest source of air pollution in the most pollutied air basin in the United States is a living disgrace. We can only hope and pray that the new Mayor has the courage, the leadership ability, and the management skills to, as Mayor Frank so correctly said, implement the control measures in this study instead of leaving it to gather dust as so many others have.

More on the health impacts of diesel exhaust later.

June 30, 2005 9:07 AM  

Blogger ubrayj02 said:

I want to first say that, again, I am a nobody in this whole debate. I don't work for the guv'mind no mo'. This is just the perspective on things I picked up while I did.

It is a fact that a great deal of air pollution and traffic is generated by the movement of goods at the ports. Your points on this are well taken.

With regards to air pollution, local and state officials have ALMOST ZERO DIRECT AUTHORITY over the sources of that pollution. Therefore, they must indirectly sanction air pollution.

Though the ports generate a lot of money for the shipping industry, they are not as efficient in moving goods from point A to point B as they should be. Inefficiency in commerce ought to make an industry cease to operate.

This industry's inefficiencies, however, are dumped off on the pubic in the form of: local traffic jams, air pollution, increased maintenance and construction of infrastructure, and higher than neccessary costs for goods movement. It has been the right of industries to dump these costs on the civilization's they operate in for centuries.

The reason I say "stop whining about pollution and traffic" is because to solve those problems, we cannot simply sanction pollution and trade volume without hurting other vital parts of our own economy, that, high as current costs may be, still rely on shipping stuff through the ports.

From my experience, our goods-movement industry is efficient in the way it makes money, but not in the way it moves goods.

Our local and state governments DO HAVE DIRECT AUTHORITY over access to the ports - and so can directly affect the movement of goods.

By creating a marketplace where companies compete based on how efficiently they move goods, we can drastically reduce pollution and traffic. The heavy health costs our community pays for trade-generated pollution need to be accounted for by the marketplace - so we need to make it expensive to pollute, and cheaper not to pollute. Many of the protective measures proposed raise the costs for everybody in the trade industry, whether they pollute or don't, by simpy sanctioning trade. This hurts all of us, because this trade is, really, vital to our region.

What really matters in the trade industry? In California, right now, it is not neccessarily the movement of goods. We need to make it matter. We need to enable individual actors in our economy to do the right thing: to run their businesses more efficiently.

As an example: Those big ships dump a lot of crap into the air. We can force them to buy new engines, or we can force them to drive to port in a certain way - but the costs incurred through that activity and regulation are not insignificant, and arguably, cost us more (in shipping price increases, and inefficient movement of goods) than they're worth in pollution reductions. If, instead, we mandate and monitor the efficient movement of cargo containers from boats to the dock, to trains, and trucks we can allow competition in the marketplace to decide how a boat should run, and when they should buy a more efficient and less polluting engine. Our local and state governments need to act to make companies compete to pollute less, not punish them for operating a business.

I think, anonymous and noel park, we are after the same goals - I just frame the debate in a different manner. Becoming an enemy to commerce is not the solution to our environmental problems. Commerce, and trade, bring us many great things - we need to embrace them in order to really tackle air pollution and traffic congestion problems.

June 30, 2005 11:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is a great dialogue but i would like to know if anyone knows what's going on with tomorrow's inauguration.

Driving into work today was ...let just say TERRIBLE. I think they already closed down streets - what do you guys think about Howard Fine's article on the financial part of AV's inauguration?

June 30, 2005 3:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

3:11 you have to be a miserable hippie loving liberal

LAUSD? Parking structures over investment in good education????


The only way this issue is going to be monitored, eliminated, and put in the media is when parents take charge and riot in groups. Yes, riots! If we have to riot in the streets against the LA County Board of Supervisors, LAUSD, and Mayors office for allowing white collar crime to flourish at the expense of the children's future.

All of you that have connections to parent groups, network and let them know of the abuse.

We have rights and if we have to take it to the media and streets, let it be so.

June 30, 2005 4:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You are right. Becoming an enemy of commerce is no way to go on this issue. Without commerce, we all suffer.

June 30, 2005 4:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

3:29 PM

Dear Anonymous,

July 1st, 2005

5AM-AV will wake up and possibly take a shower.

5:05AM-He will look in the mirror and try to find himself and focus.

7:00AM-He has finished finding himself and putting on makeup.

7:55AM-Drives off

8:20AM-AV noticed he did not have his family with him.

8:25AM-OH SHIT, he brought the wrong wife. He gets the right one and darts off.

8:45AM-He looks in the mirror to find himself again, while ACE and Parke count the $$$$$$$ in the LIMO.

Parking structures, land, schools?????? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ALL for the three bandidos.

The event should be called, "THE THREE BANDIDOS."

June 30, 2005 4:21 PM  

Anonymous noel park said:

To understand our commitment to fixing this diesel pollution problem, perhaps a bit of history may be helpful.

In 1998, the State of California found that diesel exhaust is a toxic air contaminatnt and causes cancer.

In 1999 the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) published the Multiple Air Toxics Exposure Study II (MATES II). The MATES II study modeled the risk of cancer in the air basin due to toxic air pollution. This study is available at the SCAQMD website aqmd.org.

The study divided the air basin into 1 kilometer squares and created a data point representing the cancer risk in each square. The federal threshold of concern for cancer due to toxic air pollution is one case per million of population.

The study found that 70% of the cancer risk was due to diesel pollution.

The Port of Los Angeles has actually developed a map showing these squares in San Pedro, Wilmington, and Long Beach. Based upon 1999 data, the cancer risk was over 3200 per million in the Point Fermin area of San Pedro, 1944 in old downtown San Pedro, 1531 in Wilmington, and over 4000 on Pier 400 in Los Angeles Harbor. In addition, the corridor along the 110 Freeway, and large parts of central and south Los Angeles showed a risk of between 1250 and 1500 per million, and large areas of the remainder of the City were at over 1000.

In 2001, Mayor James K. Hahn and the Board of Harbor Commissioners, in response to intense public pressure over these revelations, declared that there would be "no net increase" in air pollution from the Port of Los Angeles.

Despite many press releases, and some token improvements efforts, air pollution has steadily increased since then. The Port's own "emissions inventory" shows that toxic , cancer causing diesel particulates will have increased from 993 tons in 2001 to 1624 tons in 2005, an increase of almost 64%. Smog forming oxides of nitrogen will have grown from 19,221 tons to 27,210 tons, an increase of almost 42%.

Port traffic had grown by 35% between the MATES II study and the declaration of "no net increase". It has essentiallly doubled between 1999 and 2005. Thus, an increase in particulate of 64% from 2001 to 2005 indicates that particulate emissions track growth in container throughput very closely.

In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, this leads to the terrifying conclusion that the risk in Point Fermin is now over 6000, in east San Pedro over 3800, east Wilmington over 3000, the 110 corridor 2500 to 3000, and the central city 2000 to 2500.

While the MATES II study expressed its findings in terms of cancer risk, doctors and medical researchers have identified over 30 other serious health impacts linked to diesel exhaust. I will try to post a number of these in my next effort.

This is probably enough for one posting. Suffice it to say that this situation is totally unacceptable. We are committed to see it fixed, by whatever means necessary. If Mayor Villaraigosa has the guts to implement the Plan, we will be there to support him and sing his praises. If not, the battles between the Port and the community which have typified the last four years will only intensify. We have no choice.

June 30, 2005 4:23 PM  

Anonymous Noel Park said:

We are not enemies of commerce.

The polluters try to put that on us every day, because they don't want to pay to clean up their mess.

Commerce just needs to clean up its mess and stop putting people's health and lives at risk. Then it can have all the commerce it wants.

June 30, 2005 4:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Challenges That Confront Villaraigosa
@ the LA TIMES story 6/26

Re "Villaraigosa Faces a Triple Challenge," news analysis, June 26: The notion that former Mayor Sam Yorty was a failure is really in the eye of the beholder. Like Sam Yorty, former L.A. mayors Tom Bradley and Richard Riordan were unsuccessful in seeking higher office. Both sought the office of governor and failed. In fact, most urban mayors have little success in transitioning from big-city mayor to governor or senator.

With the exception of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, you'll be hard-pressed to cite a big-city mayor who made that transition to statewide elected office.

Antonio Villaraigosa has plenty to worry about in Los Angeles. Being an effective local leader is hardly provincial. Los Angeles needs leadership that's effective, not loud.

Nicholas J. Antonicello

Venice Beach

June 30, 2005 5:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

YOU MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT THE CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR’S RACE WAS PRETTY NASTY, BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT WAS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE PURE VENOM THAT’S ERUPTING IN EAST LOS ANGELES WHERE A FORMER CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR IS NOW RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL. ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA HAS BEEN CALLED A WOMANIZER AND WORSE BY HIS POLITICAL ENEMIES. THEY’VE EVEN GONE SO FAR AS TO IDENTIFY HIS ALLEGED MISTRESS. IT ALL BEGAN AFTER VILLARAIGOSA ANNOUNCED THAT HE WILL CHALLENGE THE LATINO INCUMBENT FOR THE DISTRICT FOURTEEN COUNCIL SEAT.

June 30, 2005 5:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

JESS>> YOU PROBABLY THOUGHT, OR I ASSUME YOU THOUGHT, THAT THIS ISSUE WAS BEHIND YOU ONCE YOU ACKNOWLEDGED THAT YOU HAD HAD TWO CHILDREN PRIOR TO YOUR MARRIAGE AND THAT YOU’D HAD AN EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR. WHAT FURTHER CAN THEY GET ON YOU?

ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA>> MOST PEOPLE THAT HAVE SEEN THE TWO ADS, ONE THAT TRIES TO INCITE RACIAL FEARS AND POLARIZE OUR CITY --

JESS>> -- IT’S ABOUT YOU’RE NOT QUITE LATINO.

ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA>> RIGHT. I HAVE WHITE ADVISERS, ACCORDING TO THIS MAILER. IT’S THE WORST KIND OF CAMPAIGNING. IT’S THE KIND OF CAMPAIGNING THAT MOST OF US BELIEVE IS FROM ANOTHER ERA. I HONESTLY BELIEVE THE PEOPLE WANT US TO TALK ABOUT ISSUES. I BELIEVE THE PEOPLE WANT US TO FOCUS ON WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER FOR THIS DISTRICT. THE SECOND MAILER ENGAGES IN PRIVATE MATTERS THAT ARE BETWEEN MY WIFE AND MYSELF AND MY CHILDREN. THEY’RE VERY OFFENSIVE. BOTH THE LOS ANGELES TIMES AND LA OPINION HAVE EDITORIALIZED VERY STRONGLY AGAINST THEM. MOST OF THE POLITICAL PUNDITS SAY THAT THESE KINDS OF ADS HAVE NO PLACE IN POLITICS. I AM NOT GOING TO ENGAGE IN THIS KIND OF GUTTER POLITICS. I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT ISSUES.

June 30, 2005 5:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA>> WELL, ULTIMATELY, IT WILL BE THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND THE CITY ETHICS COMMISSION WHO WILL MAKE A DETERMINATION OF WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS ANY COMPLICITY OR COORDINATION BETWEEN MR. PACHECO AND MR. TORRES. WE KNOW THAT MR. PACHECO AND MR. TORRES ARE LONG-TIME FRIENDS. THEY BOTH WENT TO LAW SCHOOL TOGETHER. WE KNOW IT WAS MR. PACHECO'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER THAT INFORMED THE LOS ANGELES TIMES THAT IT WAS NOT MR. PACHECO, BUT MR. TORRES, THAT INITIATED THESE CAMPAIGN MAILERS. AND WE KNOW THAT MR. PACHECO HAS SPENT $140,000, ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF WHAT YOU CAN SPEND IN A CITY RACE. WHAT HAS HE SPENT IT ON? I CAN'T MAKE THAT DETERMINATION. IT WILL BE THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND THE CITY ETHICS COMMISSION.

June 30, 2005 5:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This whole mayoral inauguration is a circus. A depty sheriff died in the line of duty by a gang banger and instead of focusing attention on the problem of these domestic terrorists running our city and killing cops the media glorifies Antonio. He hasn't even begun to figure out how to run this city. I would love to see how much of our tax dollars are being spent on this circus. I don't believe for one second it is all donated money.

June 30, 2005 6:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey capitol letter ANON, you forgot to mention that the District Attorney and the Ethics Commission never did find anything wrong with Pacheco - and they did investigate, several times. You also forgot to mention that those mailers by Torres - as nasty as they were - were absolutely factual and true. So what's worse, that those mailers went out on Tony the Liar, or that the content of these mailers were true?

Has anyone ever seen any of these two mailers? I hear only a couple thousand went out. I wonder how much these collectors items would fetch on E-Bay?

June 30, 2005 8:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why are those damn Mexican dignitaries here at Antonio's event when they are holding murderers in Mexico and not allowing them to come to LA to be prosecuted? They have cop killers there.

July 01, 2005 8:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:14 ANON

They also have Antonio's ancestors.

July 01, 2005 8:49 AM  

Anonymous noel park said:

In response to UBRAY02, it is a huge mistake to think that "more efficient" movement of goods will ever solve this problem, or that it will ever be voluntarily done by the industry.

All of the "more efficient" methods that anyone can imagine are factored in as alternatives in the plan. Even so, it takes every one of the measures in the plan to get back to the baseline of "no net increase"

Read the report. It's all there.

For the record, even the baseline emissions of "no net increase" would result in 99 premature deathes every year and over $600 million in health impact costs, which exceeds the total revenues of the Port. What a business model.

I served on the "no net increase task force" for 8 long months, and endured interminable meetings thereof, so I have some idea what I'm talking about.

July 01, 2005 8:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The hypocrisy, the hypocrisy. It's a wonder the walls of the Cathedral didn't come tumbling down when those ministers formed a circle of prayer around Tony the Liar and his wife Corina. How many times has Tony broken his sacred vows? Will he do to the city of L.A. what he did to his wife? Count on it.

July 01, 2005 9:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey, does anyone know who those protesters are outside the Cathedral? Fox 11 showed them but I couldn't read what the signs said. Apparently, Antonio avoided them and had his cars go underground.

July 01, 2005 9:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Promises Could Cost L.A. Millions, Billions
Villaraigosa will face a harsh reality: Campaign declarations are easier to make than to carry out.

Hiring 1,300 additional police officers: $130 million.

Planting 1 million trees: $140 million.

Extending the Red Line subway to the beach: $2.7 billion.

All those officers, all those trees, all that track and the more than three dozen other major promises that Antonio Villaraigosa made to the people of Los Angeles during the mayoral campaign will not come cheap.

July 01, 2005 9:25 AM  

Anonymous noel park said:

Before the air pollution issue falls completely off the screens in the clutter of the iauguration or whatever, I would like to offer one more bit of information.

A doctor friend of our, John Miller, MD, has taken a great interest in this issue, and has become an expert thereon. He has said many times that he believes that he can save more lives by trying to fix the Port diesel pollution problem than he can ever save in his emergency room.

Dr. Miller did a search of the medical literature to document the known health impacts of diesel exhaust. Here is the list:

1. Prenatal and Perinatal effects

A. Intrauterine growth retardation

B. Elevated incidence of low birth weight infants

C. Increased incidence of spontaneous miscarraige

D. Increased evidence of respiratory cause of deaths in newborns

E. Elevated incidence of serious birth defects

F. Increases in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

2. Childhood effects

A. Diminished lung growth in children (with unknown long term effects on the individual)

B. Development of asthma in children involved in active sports

C. Exacerbatioons of existing asthma

D. Elevation of incidence of asthma in children and teenagers (an ongoing worldwide phenomenon)

E. Increases in incidence of bronchitic symptoms

F. Loss of days from school attendance due to respiratory symptoms

G. Potentiation (enhancement) of allergic effects of known allergens such as ragweed pollen when individual is exposed to diesel particles and the allergen concomitantly

3. Adulthood

A. Elevated incidence of lung cancer in a linear relationship with progressive increases in fine particle (PM 2.5) air pollution (The category PM 2.5) includes the particles less than 1 micron in size)

B. Elevated incidence of myocardial infarctions (heart attacks)

C. Elevated incidence of mortality from cardiovascular causes (heart attacks and strokes)

D. Triggering of myocardial infarctions associated with spikes in PM 2.5

F. Significant elevations in "all cause mortality" associated with increases in PM 2.5

G. Increased evidence of bhroncitic symptoms

H. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): increased evidence, prevalence, and exacerbations of existing disease

I. Fatal exacerbations of COPD

J. Exacerbations of asthma leading to time off work, emergency room visits and hospitalizations

K. Approximately 1.5 times elevation in the smoking adjusted incidence of lung cancer in workers occupationally exposed to diesel exhaust versus the smoking adjusted relative risk baseline incidence of lung cancer in similar non-expoaed populations

L. Chronic exposure to particulate pollution shortens lives by one to three years

M. Higher concentrations of particulate air pollution has been linked to low heart rate variability, a risk factor for heart attacks. Association is stronger for people with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions

N. Mitrochondrial damage in cells (all age groups)

O. Airway inflammatory changes (all age groups)

P. Damage to and death of aveolar and airway macrophages (all age groups)

This literature search is accompanied by a complete bibliograpy which I can post if anyone needs to see it. Or, I can e-mail the entire report to Mayor Frank and maybe he can post it.

This search was done in August 2003. Since then, the USC Keck and UCLA Schools of Medicine have continued their intensive joint research into this issue. They have, not too surprisingly, come up with new and even more terrifying links between diesel exhaust and sickness. The beat goes on.

July 01, 2005 9:28 AM  

Anonymous Richard Havenick said:

MAYOR SAM, THANK YOU! People are reading your blog and have opportunity to learn how we can turn the tide on the miserable decline in air quality resulting from the Port complex. The great news jumps right at us; we can solve one quarter of our air quality problem in Los Angeles by encouraging responsible management of the Port(s)! Let's hope Antonio Villaraigosa is up to the challenge of taking on the status quo and the goods movement folks.
The greatest thanks go to the strong and courageous community folks and NRDC who led the charge until now. I thank you all from the bottom of my . . . . lungs!

July 01, 2005 9:47 AM  

Anonymous Grieg Asher said:

The jobs provided by trade and commerce must be balanced against negative social, environmental and economic costs.
For instance, much of the congestion on our streets and highways are due to the huge increase in Port-related truck traffic. If we allocate our increasingly scarce transportation dollars to widening the freeways in order to accomodate the trucks, then that's a $10 Billion subsidy for the shipping industry. Or should the shipping industry pay higher fees for these transportation infrastructure improvements?
We should ask what the costs are to our economy from having gridlocked streets and highways and compare that to the economic benefits realized from increased trade. If tourists stop to come, and local residents move away, and other local businesses suffer from the perpetual traffic jam we live in, then maybe those trade jobs are not such a bargain.
At the very least, a full and complete analysis is called for.
In addition to the traffic congestion problems attributable to the Port, there are the medical and health costs from the diesel air pollution. These adverse health effects are no small matter and literally impair the lives of millions of southland residents. Again, these trade jobs need to be evaluated against the health costs attributable to the Port. When corporations in the LA area complain that rising health costs are forcing them to relocate out of state, do they realize they are subsidizing these trade jobs? Shouldn't the shipping industry pay it's fair share of regional health costs?
The cost of fully implementing the No Net Increase Report is about $10 Billion, which is only a fraction of the economic benefits attributable to the Port over the long-term. The shipping industry, including the railroads, have long profited from the Port, and now it's time that they bear their fair share of the costs.
Mayor Villaraigosa should adopt the Report in it's entirety and ask the Port and shipping industry to pay for it.

July 01, 2005 1:07 PM  

Anonymous Noel Park said:

Jim Hahn said in his last interview with Dave Z. of the Breeze that the Port's tenants were making plenty of money and that they should pay for it. He said that money should not be a problem. He ought to know if anybody does,

That's not what the Port's tenants say, however.

AV just needs to tell his new Harbor Commission and the Port staff that, if they can't fix this, he'll find somebody who can.

July 01, 2005 2:55 PM  

Blogger ubrayj02 said:

This is a response to noel park's posts, especially this:

"...it is a huge mistake to think that "more efficient" movement of goods will ever solve this problem, or that it will ever be voluntarily done by the industry."

This is a confounding perspective on the issue. Short of shutting the whole enterprise down (which would reduce pollution), how does this attitude really solve the problem we face with pollution at the ports?

You have repeatedly (and expertly) identified the negative effects of diesel exhaust and other pollutants. You have done the same for the negative effects of congestion on our transportation infrastructure.

Pollution, when viewed on a civilization-wide scale, is a byproduct of economic activity. The total costs of pollution are rarely felt by those who pollute, but are instead felt (a little bit) by everyone.

The economic activity that creates wealth at the port also produces a significant amount of pollution. Those who profit from trade at the ports do not bear the true costs of the pollution their industry creates. This industry needs to feel an economic pinch (that the marketplace does not currently provide) that makes it more profitable to pollute less.

It is as simple as that.

The hard part is finding a way for our local government to leverage its limited authority to affect the economics of the situation.

It is true that at the ports there is an increased amount of truck traffic, and general congestion. Yet, I would argue that congestion and traffic on our roads is not as simple as "theres more truckses out there". Of course building new highways, and wider lanes, to support more of the same congestion seems pretty ridiculous to me too. I think that congestion on our roads and freeways has much more to do with our regional land-use decisions, than with the operation of one industry.

Look, the problems we are having at the ports have to do with a much deeper problem in our economy: we are very wasteful of resources. We are at the tail-end of a two hundred year period that has focused almost exclusively on supply-side solutions to material shortages.

In focusing solely on providing more immediately visible goods and services, our industrialized economy has sacrificed the well-being of the natural environment (which provides a number of economically "externalized" services: air, water, sunlight, biodiversity, etc.).

The people, and corporations, who run things down at the ports are there to make wealth. This is something that nobody really has a right to object to. Instead of impugning businesses with moral arguments about pollution, we need to provide an economic landscape that reflects our society's wider needs.

Ultimately, efficiency is one of the only solutions left to us.

July 02, 2005 2:43 AM  

Anonymous Noel Park said:

No one has ever advocated shutting down the ports. On the other hand, the projected massive growth, in the face of the known impacts on our communities, its totally irresponsible.

Does this mean that the ports should not grow? No, it means that they should not continue to grow until they and their tenants face up to their responsibility to protect the public health.

The idea that it is acceptable for some to create wealth for themselves at the expense of the health of the many (the public) is repugnant to me.

The same type of arguments were made in the 1950's by the automobile industry. "Oh, the industry will be destroyed by the cost of these smog controls." "Oh, the public will never buy them." "Oh, we will lose millions of jobs." Guess what? The public willingly pays for extremely sophisticated technology to control emissions from cars. If not, we would not be able to live in the LA basin today.

This industry is inessentially the same place the automobile industry was in 1955. The levels of pollution from ships, railroad locomotives, terminal equipment and trucks is incredible. Most of the machines have little or no pollution control equipment. Why should they get a free ride while every one of us is doing our part by paying hundreds of dollars for pollution controls every time we buy a car?

I will make the moral argument every day that it is wrong for others to poison me, my family, my children and my neighbors in order to make money.

I believe that such is the settled public policy of the United States of America. Otherwise, we would have no pollution controls on cars, power plants, oil refineries, and every little mon and pop stationary source business in the air basin (including mine).

We do our part willingly (more or less) because we know that, without these measures, we would no longer be able to live here. The port polluters have been able to skate all these years because, as mobil sources, they are not under the control of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The ports have alomost total control over this situation. They provide the facilities which enable the pollution. They have the power to negotiate leases from a position of effective monopoly. Some say that, if the ports require their tenants to control pollution, the tenants will move elsewhere. This is clearly a false argument. Any fair study will show that there is an absolute shortage of port facilities on the west coast of the U.S. They have no where else to go. The price of port facilities is thus highly inelastic. Raise the docking fees to pay for the pollution controls if the tenants won't do it themselves.

The only thing worse than corporations poisoning the public to make money is public agencies facilitating the poisoning. We have been raising this issue with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for years. Their response is stonewalling, spin, obfuscation, press releases, and passive aggressive refusal to do anything substantive.

The highest duty of a public agency is to protect the lives, health, safety, and quality of life of the public which it ostensibly exists to serve. The ports have lost sight of that fact in their quest for political gain for elected officials and commissioners, and bureaucratic career advancement for their staffs.

Keep on blogging ubray02. These are many the exact same excuses we hear out of the ports and their tenants every day. It is extremely valuable to air them in public, assuming that anyone beside you and me is reading all this stuff.

July 02, 2005 9:49 AM  

Anonymous Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith said:

i'm reading all this stuff. i gotta say though, neal... you list perineal damage as one of the dangers of air pollution? i mean really- smog kills the taint?

aside from the choad controversy, i have to say ubrayj02 is right. for a problem this complex and important, attaching fees to de-externalize these costs is the right way to go. determine the costs of these wasteful behaviors and tax accordingly.

and don't let the 2200 deaths lead us to some "we can't put a price on life!" rhetoric. if that were the case, we'd all have to stop driving cause the external costs to society would be infinite

July 02, 2005 5:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jimmy jumped into his car this morning and it didn't go.

He called AAA and they had to inform him there was no driver.

July 02, 2005 7:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Regarding Noel's 7/2 comments:

I've lived in the Harbor area for years, and try to follow this stuff as life permits. I sincerely appreciate your and others efforts to make our air better. You have
a lot of support in the community. I can only hope that the new mayor lives up to his promise of making L.A. a greener city.

July 03, 2005 10:01 AM  

Anonymous Noel Park said:

5:05 PM July 2 may be shocked to hear it, but I totally agree with his or her comment that attaching fees to de-externalize these costs is the right way to go. Absolutely right. "Determine the costs of these wasteful behaviors and tax accordingly". Or, as we prefer to put it, "user fees". Absolutely right. When the people who create the costs have to pay them, the system is largely self regulating.

As to the costs of death, these methods are actually use daily by such agencies as the USEPA, CARB and the SCAQMD. All of the pollution control measures required by the USEPA are justified by these very cost effectiveness analyses. So, as we drive every day, these things are actually taken into account and factored into our cost of driving by the pollution controls we buy with our cars, the smog checks we have to do every two years (no smog checks at the Port), the specially formulated gasoline we use in California, and many other things. This is another form of de-externalizing the costs.

Many other agencies use this same method. The CARB guy at the "No Net Increase Task Force" gave a few, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA - is that right?) which does the same calculation concerning such regulations as air bags, side impact beams, and other car safety requirements.

Professor Jared Diamond refers to this same methodology in his current bestseller "Collapse", page 504. He relates that the USEPA uses these same estimates to calculate that the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1970 saves our economy about $ 1 TRILLION per year due to saved lives and reduced health care costs.

State Senator Alan Lowenthal has a bill in the legislature right now, SB 760 I believe, which would impose a user fee of $30 per Twenty Foot Equivalent (TEU) container to pay for air pollution cleanup, "goods movement" infrastructure, and port security (another bitter joke for another time). While this is clearly the way to go, we feel that $30 is low by at least a factor of 10. Anyway, we wonder what the Governator will do with this.

July 06, 2005 9:12 AM  

Anonymous Noel Park said:

Also, I just remembered that the last section of the report which started all of this is Dr. Miller's report, including all of the cites to the medical literature.

If 5:05 PM July 2 has a problem with my spelling, or mispelling, of any of the technical terms (it wouldn't surprise me if I screwed up a few), I'm pretty sure Dr. Miller got them right.

July 06, 2005 9:16 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Advertisement

Advertisement