Public invited to learn about air quality, health programs at Port meetings

Submitted by Art Wong
Port of Long Beach

In keeping with its commitment to sustainable growth and environmental stewardship, the Port of Long Beach recently approved a Middle Harbor Redevelopment Program with an initial $15 million in grants to minimize the impact of Port operations on air quality and greenhouse gases in the neighboring communities.
Local residents and the public at large can learn more about the grants and how the funds will be allocated in a series of informational sessions beginning at 7pm on Wednesday, June 10 at Cesar Chavez Park, 401 Golden Avenue, in downtown Long Beach. A second hearing is set for 7pm on Wednesday, June 17 at Hudson Elementary School, 2335 Hudson St., in west Long Beach, and a third meeting will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, June 24 at Memorial Medical Center, 2801 Atlantic Avenue.
The grant programs are part of a comprehensive strategy to offset the impacts of port-related operations in the community, primarily air pollution risks for vulnerable groups such as children and seniors. Examples of projects that may be eligible for grants include air filtration systems at schools, daycare centers, and senior healthcare centers.
Port officials will discuss the programs and be available at the meetings to answer questions about grant eligibility and how the funds will be awarded. A citizen advisory committee will be formed to make recommendations to the Port’s Board of Harbor Commissioners.
The Board approved the overall grant program in March. The program is designed to help reduce air quality and greenhouse gas impacts with grants to be funded by future Port developments. The first $15 million in grants are a component of the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, which received a unanimous final endorsement by the Long Beach City Council on May 12.
Although the modernization of Middle Harbor will reduce air pollution by half from current levels, the Port’s mitigation grants go a step further in helping improve the quality of life in neighboring communities. The $15 million in grants will be divided equally among three general areas: schools and related sites; healthcare and senior facilities; and greenhouse gases project.

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