State Senate & Assembly Joint Hearing
Ports v. People: Does It have To Be This Way
An Environmental Justice Community Perspective
Marquez - Executive Director
Justice communities are often asked why do we oppose Port growth and doesn’t
the Port create badly needed jobs in the community and help our economy.
Our answer is very simple if we the community had been an active
partner with the Ports and the future planning of them we may not be opposing them today and yes we do need jobs.
has really happened over the past years is that Ports were planned strictly
for business with no considerations for their impacts on the local communities
or environment. Billions
of dollars have been spent on Ports infrastructure and growth and almost
nothing in the redevelopment or mitigation of the bordering Port communities
and the goods movement transportation corridor communities.
Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland are unique because residents live
across the street or just a few blocks away and the goods movement
transportation corridors are not located in isolated industrial zones but in
fact pass through hundreds of cities passing millions of residential homes.
There are numerous public schools and parks near rail road tracks,
intermodal facilities and distribution centers.
is our communities that have to breathe the diesel fuel exhaust from ships,
trucks, trains and yard equipment every day. It is our communities and children that are suffering from an asthma
crisis and numerous other health problems. It is our friends and family members who are dying every day.
This is our reality.
it is true that our population growth has caused an increase in imports, but
it is also true that Walmart, Cosco, Kmart, Disneyland and numerous other
companies have dumped US Manufacturers causing hundreds of thousands of US
workers to lose their job in order for them to make a higher profit. When red, white and blue all American Disneyland stopped purchasing US
made Mickey Mouse baseball caps in order to purchase cheaper Communist China
made caps it did not drop the retail price of the caps to pass on the savings
to the consumer. Disneyland pocketed the extra profit.
made over $ 1 billion in net profit in 2004. The Port of Los Angeles makes between $ 400-$600 million in net profit
every year. ConocoPhilips
made $ 8.1 billion in 2004 and $ 4.7 billion in net profits in 2003.
If they really want to be a good neighbors, they must invest in the
communities where they are located and cause no environmental or public harm.
in the past did not have an opportunity to decide which were the best types of
businesses for their communities or technology alternatives.
When a few brave residents, homeowners and environmental activists in
the past began to question why alternative technologies were not being
implemented and why there was no environmental or public health mitigation
they were just ignored.
as we all know now, all that has now changed. The public is now aware of the long term
environmental damage and health hazards caused by the Ports, Goods Movement,
Retail and Manufacturing Industries. The public is now aware that there are alternative technologies and the
public wants to participate in the greater city and regional planning process.
there a solutions? The
answer is yes. Can we
make up for past sins, yes we can.
will it take to move forward. Well
sometimes to move forward requires us to first assess where we are and to
evaluate whether or not we want to move forward at the speed we are being
are told the Ports and Goods Movement Industry is an economic engine, creates
one out of seven jobs and generates over $ 200 billion annually in revenues in
California. Yet the
public has never seen one third party independent report that is a
comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. How many US manufactures are put out business each year?
What is that cost? How
many US workers lose their jobs to over seas outsourcing each year?
What is that cost? How much unemployment is being paid out annually?
Union of Concerned Scientists in their report Sick of Soot, estimated that the
public cost of health care due to air pollution in California is $22.5 billion
study only involved the top five health categories. Thirty five Californians have died from West Nile Virus, how did that
Asian mosquito get here? Our guess is a container from a Port.
What is the cost of those lives lost and others that were infected and
about the public health care costs and permanent life time disabilities due to
exposure to toxic chemicals in foreign made imported products?
There are thousands of chemicals and tens of thousands of products
which have never been assessed for their toxicity and there are no labeling or
disclosure requirements. What is the cost of California agricultural
crop damage due to foreign insects? These are just some of the things that need to be addressed.
are some of the solutions? Here are some of our recommendations:
1. Comprehensive Port & Goods Movement Cost-Benefit Analysis.
2. Establish an annual $ 500 million environmental mitigation fund, until
remediation and restoration of our environment, wetlands, wildlife habitat, air,
land and water is completed.
3. Establish an annual $ 500 million public health mitigation fund, until
all public health crisis and health care costs are brought under control.
4. Establish an annual $ 500 million public and goods movement
transportation infrastructure fund, until all needs have been satisfied.
We recommend a statewide underground container transportation system.
5. Establish an annual $ 100 million community redevelopment mitigation
fund, until all port, goods movement transportation corridors, rail yard
communities and distribution centers communities have been mitigated.
6. Establish an annual $ 100 million security, container inspection,
decontamination and traffic enforcement fund.
7. Design all new terminals and renovate existing Port terminals to use
automated, destination pre-sort stacking and drop-to-rail technologies.
8. Purchase all new ships with the BACT (Best Available Pollution Control
Technologies) engines. We
know the prices are relatively the same cost because we have talked with engine
manufacturers. Retrofit older ship engines.
9. Require 70% of all regular visiting ships to use cold ironing for main
and auxiliary engines while in Port.
10. Require the remaining 30% of all ships to use a stack emissions capture
technology while in Port.
11. Require all ships to use low sulfur diesel fuel or marine
gasolene. We know the cost is only $62-$155 per container ( for an 8,600 TEU Ship )
and when distributed equally between the contents it only raises the price of
the item by a few pennies.
12. Require all diesel trucks, trains and equipment to use low sulfur diesel
fuel, alternative fuels, bio-diesel fuel or diesel fuel additives which reduce
13. Require all trains to be electric, solar energy or hydrogen fuel in the
14. Relocate all off-port container storage facilities away from local
15. Relocate all major rail yards and intermodal facilities away from
community residential areas.
16. Relocate all off-Port inspection facilities in communities to the Port.
17. Relocate all hazardous chemicals, fumigation facilities and fuel storage
tank facilities that border communities to a safe distance Port designated
18. Do not accept any container cargo destined for out of state.
Over 50% is shipped out of state of California. Let other states share the burden of the increasing traffic,
environmental and public health impacts. Why should we subsidize them and absorb all the costs.
Let the public vote and decide what is in our best future interests.
19. Do not expect the public to subsidize the cost of private business
expansion or goods movement transportation infrastructure.
20. Do not expect the public to allow any more environmental destruction or
21. Do not expect the public to allow any more public exposure to
carcinogenic or toxic chemicals or substances.
22. Do not expect the public to allow any more public exposure to fire,
explosion or safety hazards.
23. Establish a moratorium on Port expansion until a comprehensive mitigation
plan has been established.
challenge is for all of us to now sit at the table and address all issues.