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Open Access Publications from the University of California

High-resolution pollutant transport in the San Pedro Bay of California

  • Author(s): Cohan, Alexander
  • Wu, Jun
  • Dabdub, Donald
  • et al.

The combined sea port of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California constitutes the second busiest port in the United States by shipping volume. Communities near the ports face environmental justice concerns from a variety of sources including roadway and port related activities. This study examines the transport and diffusion of PM2.5 and NOX in port communities using the high-resolution plume model AERMOD, incorporating surface and aloft observed meteorology and local topography. Pollution impacts of roadway related emissions, direct port activity of cargo handling equipment and commercial shipping vessels are modeled for representative cold and hot months in 2005. Predictions from roadway emissions are compared with the same episode modeled with CALINE4 line dispersion model. Results show high spatial variability as well as increased transport during cold months. In addition, research also shows that while the port activity significantly impacts in-port air pollution, the effects of port activity is limited to within 2-6 km of the ports. Port adjacent communities are most sensitive to roadway related emissions. AERMOD PM2.5 and NOX predictions show a peak correlation coefficient of 43% and 50% compared with observations, respectively. (c) Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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