Environmental Health Justice

Published: 2017-12-05 09:47:46
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Sewanee University of the South
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Port of Los Angeles Emission

Summary and Review Efforts from Los Angeles Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice

In 2004, the Los Angeles Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice released a report titled “Building a Regional Voice for Environmental Justice”. This report drew on the data that was publicly available, identified and documented the patterns of both health and environmental risks that were facing low income earners of color (L.A.C.E.H.J, 2010). This report was among the first to identify and discuss the multiple sources of pollution. Therefore, it really helped in establishing research on the issues of toxic and pollution in communities. 

Table 2: Estimated 2005 Port Truck Emissions for the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beachand Oakland (rounded) (Miguel, 2006)

Port

PM (TPY)

NOx (TPY)

Port of Long Beach (POLB)

Port of Los Angeles (POLA)

(Including Regional on-road)

491

6,048

Port of Oakland

(Including Regional on-road)

73

1,027

Total

564

7,075

A reason why the low income earners were the most affected was that they lived in regions close to the ports, where pollution as a result of the port emissions was high. Some of the identified sources of pollution are mobile sources, such as ocean going vessels and trucks that are awaiting the routine checks before boarding. Idle sources, were also identified as the port featured vessels and trucks that were not moving yet the engines were still running. 

Summary and Review Efforts from Port of Houston Authority

In spite of the port and trucks performance being the same, but with respect to the aforementioned items, there is a big difference in the amount of emission created by the two. Therefore, in this study, we studied the most advanced and environmentally sensitive container ports of the U.S. Gulf in Houston, Tx named Bayport. The Bayport Container Terminal provides customers cost-effective, efficient cargo handling. As such, it features a high traffic which ends up increasing the amount of pollution emitted from the engines of the various vessels and trucks that are present in one region. 

For the Port of Houston Authority, it is still a priority for it to help the area such that it meets the set national air quality standard for the ozone layer. This is why for many years; the Port Authority has been experimenting with new technologies, alternative fuels, and also replacing fleets with low emission vehicles. Therefore, this source shows that there is always room for improvement. New technologies are being developed every day, which is why ports need to be ready to adopt new improved technologies constantly so as to reduce the impacts of port emissions. 

Emissions from the port of Houston can be classified from various sources such as Vehicle traffic activity. These are the activities that take place away from the dock. Such include outbound and inbound trips, shifting between ports and anchorage activity. Notably, there are other miscellaneous sources which according to ENVIRON include assist tugs, ocean tugs, off shore vessels and the push and tow boats. Some of the emissions from the port of Houston include HC, NOx, CO and PM10. According to the 2007 emissions inventory, it is estimated that there will be an increase in the emissions as a result of activity growth in the port. However, the unique market conditions and control scenarios of the emissions prompts the forecasting of emissions from the vessels be forecasted separately. These vessels include harbor craft and tug. The larger vessels are also expected to be major contributors to the emissions. These vessels referred to as category 3 has been the main focus by EPA. Some of the control factors of these emissions include slow speed diesel (SSD), medium speed diesel (MSD), Steam boilers (SB), gas turbine (GT) and passengers.

Shipping emissions

Summary and Review Efforts from Individual Researchers

The health risks of goods movement–related air pollution are well documented and disproportionately distributed (Hricko, 2006). In Los Angeles County, for example, approximately 70% of excess cancer risk has been associated with diesel particulate matter (DPM) centered on the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles (Multiple Air Toxics Exposure Study, 2000), which includes highly populated areas of mostly low income and minority citizens (Houston, Krudysz & Winer, 2008), raising important environmental justice concerns. Since the 1980s, various researchers have been focused on evaluating the social inequalities experienced in exposure to environmental hazards and risks (Chakraborty et al., 2014). These researchers seek to determine whether or not the environmental risk burdens, both the identified and unidentified, are inequitably spread across specific demographics and socioeconomic groups. The majority of the Environmental Justice studies have come to the conclusion that minority groups, as well as those from lower socioeconomic status, are exposed disproportionately to the environmental risks experienced in the United States (Chakraborty et al., 2014). Houston is a densely populated area, mainly due to the availability of the ports in the region. Therefore, sources including the heavy-duty trucks, which are constantly available in this region, are to blame for the chronic pollution risk.

Since the biggest amount of emission created in the area of ports by the trucks when they have loaded their cargo and are waiting in line for inspection by the government agents to get cleared and ready to go, and the speed of the trucks in this case is so low, there are studies done that have researched the amount stopping time of the trucks for loading the cargo in the port. These were conducted so as to be able to suggest ideas to decrease the amount of stopping time and, therefore, result in the least amount of emission. Some of the suggestions are as follows: 

Use of new ways of technologies for inspection of the trucks so time can be saved (Qi, Salehi & Wang, 2013). Decreasing the number of inspection booths or combining them together and also decreasing the amount of delay time in the process of inspection. Combining the inspection of cargo, and the inspection of the vehicle. (i.e., Mexican-, U.S.-, and state level cargo inspections and safety checks). Parking the trucks in the parking lots instead of waiting in line for inspection. (Kear, Wilson & Corbett, 2013)

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