AQMD Lets Port Ship Coke Before Enclosures Are Built

Air quality officials say they will approve a plan to allow an export terminal to store and ship coke--a type of coal used for industrial fuel and a known carcinogen--from the Port of Los Angeles for a year while enclosures are built to cover the piles.

Construction of the $14.2-million coke domes is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 1999 under the agreement worked out by the Air Quality Management District and the Los Angeles Export Terminal.

“This is a pretty expensive step they are taking to go the extra mile and please the community,” AQMD spokesman Bill Kelly said.

The AQMD board has met with harbor-area residents who said they wanted the coke covered. Under the agreement, expected to be signed this week, the export terminal will be authorized to store and ship coke beginning Jan. 1 and will have to meet construction timetables or risk having its coke permit revoked, AQMD officials said.