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The Port of Long Beach's monthly newsletter
September 2009
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Porthole icon Around the Port...

Green Port Fest '09 Coming Oct. 3

The Port's 5th annual open house will take place in front of the Port administration building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 3.
Last year, the event attracted an estimated 10,000 people, who took the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at one of the busiest seaports in the world. Visitors are invited to take boat and train tours of the Port and check out the dozens of interactive exhibits that showcase the Port's operations, its environmental programs and the significant contributions made by the Port's maritime industry partners.
"The Clean Air Action Plan is well on track to reach its goal of cutting air pollution by 45 percent, thanks in large part to the enthusiastic participation of companies like the eight we honored today," Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke said during the event. "Their efforts to improve air quality and contribute to cleaner skies deserve praise and recognition."
It is free to the public and includes family-friendly entertainment and children's activities.
Green Port Fest is an important component of the Port's comprehensive community outreach and education effort. It shows the Port's vital role in creating jobs and supporting the regional economy while minimizing the environmental impact of its operations.
Event attendees will learn about Port initiatives such as shore power, which allows docked ships to use less polluting land-based electricity instead of diesel powered engines, and the Port's Clean Trucks Program, which is ahead of schedule in its goal to decrease truck-related pollution 80 percent by 2012.
In the spirit of the "green" event, the Port has distributed free Long Beach Transit bus passes to the festival and will provide free bicycle valet service on site. Free parking is available at the Long Beach Convention Center in the lot at Shoreline Drive and Linden Avenue.
Learn more: Click here for programs and schedules. For a video on the Green Port Fest, click here.
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Port Gathers Input on On-Dock Rail Support Facility

The Port has begun environmental reviews for a proposed project that would reconfigure, expand and enhance an existing rail facility at Pier B to support the increased use of on-dock rail.
The project proposes to redevelop an existing rail facility that now serves as a storage and staging area for trains. The site, located southwest of Anaheim Street and the 710 Freeway, is a critical juncture in the Port's rail network and is primarily used by Pacific Harbor Line (PHL).
The Port recently held two public meetings as part of the scoping phase of environmental reviews for the proposal. Written comments will be gathered until October 9.
The comments and input will be incorporated into a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before another round of public input and comments. Once the draft EIR is completed, it will be released for public comment.
Learn more: Click here for Notice of Preparation documents.
Click here for a fact sheet.
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Drop in Container Trade Lowest in Nine Months

The total number of cargo containers shipped through the Port of Long Beach declined 13.8 percent in August, compared with the same month a year ago. It was the smallest year-to-year decline for any month since November 2008.
The Port's shipping terminals moved 493,339 twenty-foot equivalent container units, or TEUs, in August, compared to 572,256 a year ago.
Imported cargo dropped 11.7 percent, to 249,920 TEUs, compared to last year, but has risen steadily since June as retailers stock up for the holidays.
Exports declined 14.9 percent to 130,623 TEUs. The number of empty containers, most of which are sent overseas to be refilled with products, declined by 16.8 percent to 112,796 TEUs. So far in 2009, overall container trade is down by 25.1 percent compared to the same time period in 2008.
Read the Data: Click here for the latest TEU figures, and here for the latest tonnage summary reports.
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Port to Simplify Cargo Claiming

On September 14, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners gave preliminary approval to eliminating a requirement that makes most importers and exporters claim cargo and pre-pay a Clean Trucks Program fee. The change is designed to do away with a bureaucratic step that has become unnecessary. The program's clean air goals will not be impacted.
The decision is expected to win final Board approval in October and is targeted to take effect on November 1, 2009. The new rule was developed by the Port of Long Beach in cooperation with "PortCheck," a fee-collecting organization, and Port of Long Beach Marine Terminal Operators.
The new rule will require pre-payment from only the cargo owners who use older, more polluting trucks. Most cargo --that which is already moved with clean trucks or on-dock rail--will be exempt from the requirement.
Under the current rule, all cargo owners (importers and exporters) claim and pre-pay a Clean Trucks Fee. The pre-paid fee is then refunded after it is verified that the cargo was moved by clean trucks or on-dock trains. The Port only keeps the fee from those who use older, more polluting trucks, and the funds are used to help finance new, less polluting trucks.
The Clean Trucks Program is aimed at replacing older, dirtier vehicles with clean trucks to reduce air pollution by 80 percent by 2012. The program is far ahead of schedule with 85 percent of all containers moved through the Port of Long Beach already being carried by clean trucks or on-dock trains.
Read more: Click here for the full press release.
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Port Construction Boom Adds Jobs

In spite of the sluggish economy, the Port of Long Beach continues to move ahead with $2.6 billion in planned development projects, supporting local businesses and employing thousands of workers.
Modernization projects already underway are employing nearly 1,000 workers in the Port complex. Thousands more jobs will be generated when already approved plans, such as the $750 million Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, get underway in the next few months. The Port does not hire construction workers directly, but its projects are awarded to contractors who then hire workers, mainly from craft hiring halls.
Many of the projects are aimed at updating the Port's facilities and decreasing the environmental impact of its operations. The Middle Harbor project, for example, will modernize two older shipping terminals and cut air pollution by 50 percent. The project is expected to generate up to 1,000 construction jobs a year for the next decade, as well as another 14,000 permanent positions.
In addition to Middle Harbor, construction of a new maintenance and repair facility as well as rail renovations at Pier G will support another 900 jobs. Current projects, including soil cleanup at Pier A and building shore power facilities at Pier C, are already supporting nearly 1,000 jobs. Shore power allows docked ships to use land based electricity instead of running their diesel engines, cutting air pollution at berth.
Learn more: The Port has gathered a list of resources for job seekers. Click here for the full press release and list of links.
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Port Awarded Stimulus Grants
The Port of Long Beach was awarded $7.8 million on September 24 under a federal economic stimulus program designed to fund security projects around the country while creating jobs. The Port received the largest award among all the applicants in the latest round of grants.
Most of the grant money, about $6.8 million, will go toward the Port's Fiber Optic Network project, which will provide a high-speed, interference-free security communication system for the Port complex. The Port also was awarded $984,500 to install barriers, bollards and fencing to protect critical structures.
Overall, the Department of Homeland Security awarded more than $380 million in grants—funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—to more than a dozen projects nationwide. Locally, the Long Beach Fire Department received $100,000, and Port tenant Total Terminals International received $1 million for security improvements at its facilities.
ARRA, signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 19, committed more than $3 billion for homeland security projects throughout the country.
Click here for the news release from the Department of Homeland Security.

New 'Pulse of the Port' Now Airing
The 5th Annual Green Port Fest helps kick off the latest installment of "Pulse of the Port," the award-winning television and online video program that gives insight into one of the largest seaports in the world.
Also in this episode, learn why the Port is proposing to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which links Terminal Island to the rest of the Port and downtown Long Beach. It is estimated that 15 percent of all the goods that come in and out of the country move over the bridge, which was dedicated in 1968. The Gerald Desmond is also a major commuter throughway for Long Beach and South Bay residents. Although structurally sound, the bridge is outdated, and replacing it would not only improve traffic and safety, it will create close to 22,000 jobs annually.
Plus, we look at the shore power project at Pier C, Hollywood imports and community outreach interns, and new hostess Iris Almario hits the road for a little Q&A with the public.
Catch the latest installment of "Pulse of the Port" Mondays at 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at noon on Long Beach Television Channel 8. Verizon subscribers can catch the program on Channel 21. The show is also available for viewing on the Port's web site, www.polb.com/videos.

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