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98 www. bus- ex. com August 09 Greenlight Extensive construction projects at the Port of Los Angeles anticipate international trade growth. April Terreri learns how green initiatives enhance these projects and the maritime community at large

personnel throughout the country manage the data fl ow associated with the movement of all this cargo. Furthermore, railroad personnel also move containers of goods throughout the country. " So it's consumption that drives this large engine, and this is why our volumes are down now, because consumption is lower as people spend less money." But astute business people take advantage of downturns like these to enhance and strengthen their infrastructures in anticipation of better economic times. The centerpiece to all these construction initiatives is the Port's focus on greening its overall operations. But, acting astutely, Knatz recognized the Port of LA could not go it alone in its environmental improvements and enlisted the cooperation of the neighboring Port of Long Beach in an historic partnership between the two ports in the development and implementation in 2006 of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, which will reduce air emissions from port operations by about 50 percent over fi ve years. Knatz explains that the Port experienced a period during which it was unable to get any projects approved because of community opposition against pollution generated by Port activities. " They were upset about health impacts associated with diesel fuel exhaust. But the thing is that all the equipment and vehicles in the Port use diesel. So our goal was to develop and set standards for ourselves. We reached out to our neighbor, the Port of Long Beach, because we occupy the same bay, and if we were to have stricter requirements than the other side of the bay, we would lose a lot of our business to them." The result was the Clean Air Action Plan, developed by the boards of harbor commissioners from both ports with input from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board, and the local South Coast Air Quality Management District. The $ 2 billion plan calls for all port- related emission sources- including ships, trains, trucks, terminal equipment and harbor craft- to reduce health risks posed by air pollution by 50 percent over fi ve years. Technology plays a signifi cant role in these Port of Los Angeles I n a tough economic landscape, it's refreshing to see businesses pushing projects for future growth while also developing innovative green initiatives. The Port of Los Angeles is just such an enterprise, driving numerous construction and environmental initiatives that are keeping many people working, not only in California but throughout the country. The Port itself is quite an impressive enterprise, encompassing over 7,500 acres with 43 miles of waterfront. In 2006 the Port moved 8.5 million TEUs ( twenty- foot equivalent units), a new national record for container handling. But not only is the Port a busy commercial hive, it is also home to the nation's most secure cruise passenger complex, the World Cruise Center. Such a large and active infrastructure requires continuous upgrading and improvements. Current major areas of terminal improvements include creating a wharf extension to handle today's larger carriers, developing new land area through dredging and land- fi lling, and constructing a new Port railyard. The project is valued at over $ 300 million. " Our projects take time to complete," explains Geraldine Knatz, executive director. " For example, it is typical to spend seven to ten years improving a container terminal." She notes that even in slow times, such as today's economy, the Port continually builds toward future healthy business. Currently, the Port is spending about a half million dollars a day on construction projects, and that amount is expected to rise to $ 1 million per day within the next six to eight months. The Port is a vital economic engine, not only for the Los Angeles region but for the nation at large, says Knatz. " I have about 1,000 employees working for me, and I always say we are responsible for creating over 1 million jobs here in California and over 3 million throughout the nation." This is because moving cargo requires personnel all along the extensive supply chain, beginning with longshoremen employed by tenant companies, who offl oad cargo ships. Truckers, employed by other companies, pick up and deliver containers to warehouses nationwide. And logistics August 09 www. bus- ex. com 99