Senate Bill 974 (Lowenthal), a Sierra Club California-supported bill, just passed the California Assembly by a more than 2-to-1 margin!
For a relatively small per-container fee of $30, just 0.13 percent of the average port container’s worth, port users will help fund programs that reduce pollution and congestion at the ports.
If it’s signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, SB 974 will become a powerful tool to turn back the increased incidences of asthma and other respiratory diseases that accompany portside pollution. As a side benefit, it will help fund measures that will help unravel traffic congestion near ports.
Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles): “We have a chance to take a major step to transform the ports in our cities.”
Assemblyman Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar): “We have to find a way to keep these negative impacts from affecting our region…. When you support this bill, you support more money for transportation.”
Assemblyman Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles): “The health care costs [caused by port pollution] are irreparable. Once particulate matter is lodged in your lungs, it can't be dislodged.”
Assemblywoman Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach): “The people in my area really want something done about the way we're suffering.”