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Air Quality Less Sooty at Port of Long Beach

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Airborne contaminants emanating from the Port of Long Beach, one of the biggest pollution producers in the County, dropped for the third year in a row in 2009, reports the Long Beach Post. Some key pollutants dropped by 50 percent, as well. There's reason to be a little skeptical because the numbers come from a report prepared by the port itself, but the number gathering did utilize techniques approved by the California Air Resources Board and the Air Quality Management District. "Compared to the year 2005 (one of the busiest in Port history), shipping was down by 24-percent, but diesel particulate matter was reduced by 52-percent. Harmful sulfur oxides fell 46-percent."

Port authorities credit cleaner trucks, machines and watercraft for the good news. This bit of good press follows a story in The New York Times earlier in the month that claimed the port was sending Long Beachers to an early grave. Meanwhile, in a sign that people are starting to buy things again, trade numbers are up at both Long Beach and LA: For Los Angeles, which ranks first in cargo container traffic, it was the port's second-best May ever, eclipsed only during the height of the global economic boom in 2006. The Port of Los Angeles saw imports surge 12.5% compared with the same month a year earlier. Export traffic grew more than 5%.

The increases were even stronger at Long Beach, which is second only to Los Angeles in container traffic. Imports there rose nearly 27% compared with May 2009. Long Beach's exports were up more than 14%."

Image from Ken Harrell via Flickr
· Air Quality Improving, Says of Port of Long Beach Report [LBPost]