The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are ranked 1 and 2 in the nation and combined are the fifth largest port complex in the world. The two ports have the highest throughput per acre in the U. S. -- $200 billion annually. 43% of all waterborne U. S. trade and 60% of all Asian imports come through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The problems affecting the construction industry and related shipping supply chain businesses serving the LA/LB ports are as follows:
- Severe congestion in the LA/LB port region
- Delays in decision making for the construction of necessary corridor and port facilities’ improvements
- Environmental challenges, with a special emphasis on air quality
- Community support
- Supply of information and need for increased public awareness and education about the value of the LA/LB ports, the industry providers and the linkages among them
These problems are having a deleterious effect on the ports and industries’ capability to sustain their critical function as economic engines in the state of California and the nation. The gateway maintained by the port complex provides over 50% of all cargo distributed to the rest of the U.S., and the other half is consumed within a 200 mile radius of the port complex.
A vibrant and healthy economic and environmental future for the ports as well as for the surrounding communities and businesses must be secured. To accomplish this, it is essential to build needed marine and landside shipping and transportation corridor facilities, achieve efficiencies in operations, anticipate regulatory trends and fulfill environmental responsibilities.
Goals and Objectives
While the ports and several organizations, including business, government and community-based interests, are already engaged in finding solutions to some of these problems, there is no organization focused on problem-solving with a multi-stakeholder and regional perspective on the ports and shipping supply chain.
The goal of FuturePorts is to serve as a forum and provide regional leadership dedicating its efforts to achieve superior performance of the southern California gateway. FuturePorts will mobilize business and community and government leaders from across sectors to join as members to build consensus on an integrated planning approach to solving port, industry and community concerns.
It will proactively identify and respond to environmental and growth challenges and find balanced solutions to the problems noted above through an organization Work Program. The responses to these challenges require smart and visionary thinking embracing innovation and progressive improvement with input from a broad spectrum of community and business groups.
FuturePorts Work Program: Objectives and Tasks
Establish a presence and voice at local, state and federal agency hearings on issues and legislative and regulatory proposals affecting the LA/LB ports and its industry providers. Monitor activities of local, state and federal agencies; participate in agency planning programs and decision making; formulate policy positions on planning and regulatory issues affecting the ports and shipping supply chain.
Task: determine representation for FuturePorts at local, state and federal hearings and meetings and prepare comments on the following current topics:
Identify air quality and other environmental problems and technical, non-regulatory solutions, e.g. chassis pool proposal. Establish a pro-active approach to environmental issues promoting port and industry stewardship as well as emphasize the importance of balanced, reasonable and cost feasible regulation of air quality and environmental mitigation. Select control strategies with market incentives, adequate time for implementation.
- State of California’s BTH and EPA’s Goods Movement Action Plan process. November and December, 2005 public hearings.
- Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal proposal
- California Air Resources Board (CARB) Draft Marine Emissions Reduction Plan for Ports and International Goods Movement (Jan. 2006 hearings)
- Joint Ports Clean Air Action Plan (August and November, 2006)
- Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) released in late 2006 and 2007
Task: Working with the ports’ and other local and community existing and proposed planning documents, develop consensus on an environmental stewardship outreach plan, which includes an integrated planning approach to achieve both environmental and economic port goals and strategies. Meet with the South Coast Air Quality Management District and become involved in the Clean Air Plan process.
- Reduce congestion at the LA/LB port complex
Task: set meetings with the ports, industry and community as FuturePorts members to identify congestion hot spots and local and regional solutions to eliminate bottlenecks. Develop strategies to reduce congestion integrated with air quality improvement goals.
- Reduce delays in the completion of environmental documents and studies. Expedite construction authorizations and funding for port facilities and freight movement services, e.g. Long Beach’s Pier E
Task: set meetings with ports, industries and community as FuturePorts members to identify needed construction projects and where there are recurring delays in the approval, funding and construction process. Develop a strategy for eliminating delays in project authorizations and construction.
- Increase public awareness and knowledge about the value of the ports and industry services for the community at large. Provide information on industry growth statistics and the economic impact of congestion and delay. Act as a clearinghouse for information about the shipping supply chain to the public. Build community support for the ports and industry by identifying mutual interests and partnerships on joint economic and environmental improvement projects.
Task: Write fact sheets and articles for the public and the media. Establish alliances with business and community organizations. Working with organizations such as the Mayor’s Port Community Advisory Council, facilitate a process to develop partnerships and collaborative projects for the benefit of economic and environmental improvement.
Elizabeth Warren, Executive Director
P.O. Box 768
San Pedro, CA 90733-0768