POLB Approves $46.4 Million Program to Lessen Port’s Pollution Impact on Communities


Photo courtesy of the Port of Long Beach (POLB). I Dig Long Beach volunteers plant trees at Hamilton Middle School in April 2016. The POLB gave $671,200 from the Community Mitigation Grants Program to plant an urban forest of 6,000 trees in the city by 2020.

At its Monday meeting, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners authorized a voluntary $46.4 million program to lessen the impacts of port-related pollution on the community, according to an announcement released today.

The investment is expected to be given out over a period of 12 to 15 years and adds to the $17.4 million the Port of Long Beach (POLB) has awarded to community groups since 2009, bringing the total to almost $65 million. No other seaport in the US has voluntarily committed as much funding for community-based environmental mitigation, according to the release.

The Community Mitigation Grants Program has previously helped pay for projects, including installing air-filtration systems at schools, other renewable energy projects, energy efficiency upgrades and asthma outreach health programs, according to the release.

“As commissioners, we live in Long Beach, so we understand for the Port to do well, we must do good,” said Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán in a statement. “Being the Green Port is in our DNA and our record as being leaders on the environmental front while being good neighbors is unparalleled. The proposed community mitigation program is the latest example of our longstanding and long-term commitment to the environment and the Long Beach.”

Before the port could consider implementing another mitigation program, state law required that a study be completed to identify the POLB’s cumulative impacts to air, traffic, noise and water. The study, which was released in April, valued the impact at $46.4 million, according to the release.

The port will host a public workshop in early fall to create grant guidelines for allocating funds to the variety of community health, facility improvement and community infrastructure projects identified in the study. The date will be announced when it’s confirmed, while the Harbor Commission will decide on program rules later this 2016.

Funding is expected to be awarded starting next year.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.