Photo courtesy of POLB.
In a voluntary effort to combat port-related pollution, the Port of Long Beach announced it will begin accepting grant applications later this year from local organizations to bring health programs and air filters to communities most affected by cargo movement in the San Pedro Bay, officials announced Tuesday.
“We believe in environmental sustainability and social responsibility, and this program loudly and clearly demonstrates the Port of Long Beach’s pledge to the community to be a responsible neighbor,” Board of Harbor Commissioners President Lori Ann Guzmán said in a statement.
The $46 million grant, which is part of the Port Community Grants Program and approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners Monday night, will be used to help those in the community who are most vulnerable to port-related pollution, primarily children, pregnant women, the elderly, the chronically ill and those with respiratory and cardiopulmonary illnesses.
This year, the port plans on setting aside $3.4 million for the project, with $3 million to be used for health programs lasting three years.
The health programs will include health services such as screening, diagnosis, outreach, case management and education and health worker training for those suffering from respiratory problems.
The other $400,000 will be used to replace air filters in facilities that serve the identified vulnerable population.
In total, the $46 million will be distributed over 12 to 15 years.
Guzmán said that no other port authority in the country has voluntarily committed this much money to community-based mitigation.
Groups from any geographic zone in the city are eligible to apply for the funding. However, groups proposing to service Downtown Long Beach and the areas running north along the 710 freeway, including parts of Wilmington, Compton, Carson and Paramount, will be given priority.
The port will host a workshop on the proposed health programs and air filters, Tuesday, April 18 from 2:00PM to 4:30PM at the Port of Long Beach Interim Administrative Offices located at 4801 Airport Plaza Drive.