Global environmental challenges
One of California’s biggest ports has cleaned up its fleet of 8,000 trucks.
The Port of Long Beach has cut nearly 80 percent of emissions from truck engines at the port since it started its ban of old diesel-fueled trucks. That’s roughly 200 tons less of soot — known as particulate matter — in the air at the port annually.
In 2008, the port of Long Beach, together with its sister port in Los Angeles started to green their truck fleets, targeting trucks built before 1989. Together the ports make up the busiest cargo hub in the United States.
In 2010 the ban at Long Beach ramps up to prohibit trucks from 1993 and older, plus trucks from 1994 to 2003 that have not been updated with exhaust filters to meet strict emissions standards.
Southern California — home to Disneyland, the mother of all amusement parks — welcomed a new attraction this month. But this theme park has no Mickey Mouse or roller coasters and is housed inside a mall instead of spread out over a swath of space.
Called Environmentaland, it is more of an interactive museum that has taken the environment as its theme.
To help prepare myself for the water series we’ve been running, I went to the movies. Or brought home a DVD, anyway. I rented “Chinatown,” the fictional 1974 Roman Polanski movie with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, which is all about the growth of Los Angeles and the search/theft for water.
Considering that the current Las Vegas water chief, one of the most respected urban conservation advocates, is working on a much-criticized pipeline to take water from Northern Nevada at the same time Las Vegas cuts water use , this old movie may still have something to teach.
Today, Reuters ran a story about the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports’ aggressive plan to slash pollutants — mostly exhaust from diesel engines — that have harmed air quality and contributed to health concerns in the local communities. In implementing the plan, the ports have butted heads with some of the industries that they do business with, such as shippers, railroads and truckers.
Nevertheless, the plan is moving full steam ahead, so to speak.
During the course of reporting this story, we visited both ports to get an up-close view of some of the measures they are taking. The two videos below demonstrate two of those efforts, one at each port.
Still, the city as famous for traffic and smog as it is for sunshine and celebrities is working hard to earn the mantle of the greenest big city in America.