Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach embrace strategy to address water quality

WILMINGTON, Calif. — August 12, 2009 — The Los Angeles and Long Beach Boards of Harbor Commissioners on Wednesday, August 12, jointly adopted an ambitious strategy to improve and maintain water and sediment quality in their ports with a collaborative, science-based approach.

Although San Pedro Bay water quality has seen dramatic improvement in recent years, the newly adopted Water Resources Action Plan, or WRAP, identifies and targets the remaining sources of water and sediment pollution in the Bay, for example zeroing in on litter, legacy sediment contamination, loose materials and other potential contaminants in the harbor area.

The neighboring ports’ harbor commissions came together for a rare joint meeting at Banning’s Landing in Wilmington to consider the WRAP.

In 2006, the two ports adopted a Clean Air Action Plan, after consulting with regulatory agencies. The Water Resources Action Plan outlines strategies designed to work in conjunction with regulations expected to be issued soon by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The ports began creating and designing the plan in August 2008, with input from multiple stakeholders, including regulatory agencies, the maritime industry, environmental groups and others. A draft WRAP was released at the end of April 2009 for a 30-day comment period.

The WRAP is available for viewing at www.portoflosangeles.org/WRAP.


Cindy Miscikowski, President of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners
“When it comes to water quality, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are in the challenging position of needing to address pollutants that enter our harbor from upstream sources as well as from port operations. That’s why it is so important that we take this action to create a solid plan to guide us to even better water quality.”

Nick Sramek, President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners
“The Bay that the two ports share is an important environmental resource. And to protect that resource, we need to take a coordinated approach, just as we do with air quality.”

"We've worked closely with the ports and local partners to identify key actions that will reduce water pollution and protect San Pedro Bay," said Laura Yoshii, Acting Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  "EPA looks forward to continuing these efforts as the ports implement their plans to protect public health and the environment in Southern California.