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Opinion: How the ports of L.A. and Long Beach can reduce emissions with existing technology and funding

A containership being unloaded at the Port of Long Beach in July.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: On Thursday, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will consider adopting their proposed Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) to reduce emissions from trucks and other sources. The CAAP is a good start, but more needs to be done, especially in the near term, to help achieve clean air and protect public health in our region.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District is committed to working with the ports and all stakeholders to implement, accelerate and supplement the measures in the CAAP.

Specifically, SCAQMD has sponsored the development of near-zero (such as natural-gas-powered engines) and zero (such as battery-powered electric) emission technology that reduces smog-forming emissions by 90% to 100% when compared with current tailpipe standards. Utilization of these technologies will provide the immediate and long-term reductions necessary to meet our air quality standards, and funding is available now to help truck owners replace their older trucks with these cleaner technologies.

We can’t afford to wait to protect the health of the breathing public especially with clean technologies and presently available funding.

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William A. Burke, Los Angeles

The writer is chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

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