Random Lengths News

A Needless Double Whammy

- By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor

As a record heatwave struck statewide, residents near the San Pedro Bay Ports saw exhaust belching from ships that would typically have been plugged into shore power. This was because Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Flex Alerts that allowed them to unplug from shoreside power.

This situation was exposed by Andrea Hricko, professor emerita at USC Keck School of Medicine, who was joined by professor Ed Avol and homeowner activist Janet Gunther in a public letter explaining what she had found: monitored increases in NO2, black carbon, fine (PM 2.5) and ultrafine (PM 10) particulat­e matter at the two ports’ monitoring stations. “Residents should be protected from ship emissions – and not have a ‘double whammy’ of extreme heat exposures and exposure to diesel exhaust and other emissions during a Flex Alert,” they wrote.

“CARB could solve this problem with a regulation about use of alternativ­e technologi­es during Flex Alerts,” they noted. “But in the meantime, anytime a lease is up for a terminal, the POLA or POLB should put language in the lease that requires use of alternativ­e technologi­es when there are Flex Alerts.”

At the Sept. 8 Harbor Commission meeting, POLA Executive Director Gene Seroka assured the public that “Here in Los Angeles, we are on a separate system compared to the rest of the state and we have been assured by the Los Angeles Department of Water and power that we have adequate energy capacity to keep ships plugged in.”

Nonetheles­s, “According to port staff... most ships here are still choosing to remain unplugged,” Gunter said in a public comment. “It is important to note that this most serious situation had never been addressed by the port prior to the recent interventi­on by Professor Hricko. Why was the port not on top of this critically important issue ahead of the situation?”

As noted in the letter, “the Port of Seattle says that: ‘93% of Seattle City Light’s energy used for shore power comes from renewable sources like hydroelect­ricity, wind and biogas.’”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States