FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
13 October 2023
Contact: Kevin McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)
WASHINGTON, DC– On Wednesday, October 11, Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (CA-44) and Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) led 16 California Members in a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, urging the EPA to grant authorization for the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) request from September 2022 for its Ocean-going Vessels At-Berth Regulation. The authorization is essential to reduce air pollution in California and protect the health of millions of people who are impacted by emissions from diesel-powered ships. The letter urges authorization be granted by October 31, 2023.
“Goods movement, including port operations, is one of the leading contributors to California’s notorious air pollution problems. The state has a total of twelve ports, including the largest port complex in the nation, the San Pedro Bay Ports,” the Members wrote. “Emission reduction attributable to the 2020 At-Berth Regulation is estimated to prevent 237 premature deaths, 75 hospitalizations, and 122 emergency room visits from 2021 to 2032.”
California’s At-Berth Regulation would require large ships to plug into shore power at ports, rather than run their engines on toxic bunker fuel. It has been one year since California submitted its request to the EPA, and no action has been taken. The delay in authorization has slowed down efforts by CARB to reduce ship emissions. Californians, especially in portside communities, bear disproportionate health burdens from this pollution and deserve immediate relief.
Congresswoman Barragán and Senator Padilla were joined on the letter by Representatives Mark Takano (CA-39), Jared Huffman (CA-2), Katie Porter (CA-47), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Josh Harder (CA-9), Grace Napolitano (CA-31), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Juan Vargas (CA-52), and Ted Lieu (CA-36).
The following organizations supported the letter: Earthjustice, Pacific Environment, Sierra Club, Regional Asthma Management & Prevention, Ocean Conservancy, Little Manila Rising, California Environmental Voters, Friends of the Earth (FoE), Environmental Defense Fund, Communities for a Better Environment, San Pedro & Peninsula Homeowners Coalition, California Business Alliance for a Clean Economy, Breathe Southern California, Sunflower Alliance, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Pacific Environment, CCAEJ, Move LA, Center for Biological Diversity, and the Coalition for Clean Air.