California Senate approves container fee


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California’s Senate today approved the Ports Investment Bill (SB 974), which would tack on a $30 fee per shipping container processed through the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland.

The measure, which will go before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is expected to generate more than $300 million a year to improve the freight rail system and fund projects to reduce air pollution from port operations and freight transport.


Research by the California Air Resources Board released in May concluded that 3,700 Californians die prematurely each year from the movement of goods. The shipment of cargo containers -- which rely on diesel-fueled ships, trucks and trains -- is expected to triple in the next couple of decades, according to the Coalition for Clean Air.

Last week the Public Policy Institute of California released a statewide survey that showed 61% of Californians support such a fee.

-- Tami Abdollah