PMSA Calls for Changes to LA, Long Beach Clean Air Plan

The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) has raised concerns about the proposed USD 14-plus billion Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, stating that the plan needs some changes.

Namely, PMSA requested the CAAP Update “focus on commercially available technology supported by national or state emissions standards, coupled with clearly defined mechanisms of implementation that are financially feasible and economically competitive.”

The association said it rejects the CAAP recommendations that rely on speculative technology and arbitrary dates without accommodation for the economic realities confronting the ports’ tenants and customers, “who are all vital to maintaining a strong economy in Southern California.”

“The CAAP, as drafted, seeks to transform the technology on the waterfront while ensuring basic operations do not evolve to meet changing demands,” John McLaurin, president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, said.

“The maritime industry is evolving and will look radically different in a decade. We encourage port staff to update the CAAP to reflect this reality,” McLaurin commented, adding that, if the ports are going to require tenants and customers “to spend tens of billions of dollars on new technology, they must provide greater certainty as to the economic and competitive impacts of their plan.”

PMSA’s comments focus on eight aspects of the CAAP, including competitiveness, goals of the CAAP, expanded shore power, vessel speed reduction program, clean ship program, and other.

Namely, given the CAAP’s estimated USD 14 billion price tag, PMSA asked that the plan be analyzed for its impact on competitiveness, develop a competitiveness goal and integrate the goal within the CAAP to boost the competitiveness of this gateway. Additionally, PMSA asked that port officials align the CAAP’s measures with the ports’ stated goals and not place undue and unnecessary burdens on the maritime industry that only delay and significantly increase the costs of the needed emission reductions.

The Harbor Commissions for Los Angeles and Long Beach are expected to vote on the CAAP in November.

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