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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Environmental Plans and Freight Movement at the San Pedro Bay Ports: A Quick Strike Analysis

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Critical to freight movement in Southern California are environmental plans at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and Port of Long Beach (POLB). The combined port complex is the single largest fixed source of air pollution in the South Coast Air Basin. This white paper presents three case studies from the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), including brief analyses of their effects on freight movement in the region. This research also includes a case study of a private-sector, yet-to-be-built infrastructure project designed to support the faster movement of freight out of the San Pedro Bay Ports called the Southern California International Gateway (SCIG). The case studies are provided to elucidate how self-regulating agreements and operator-led programs contribute to regional environmental goals for freight operations. The findings indicate in part that stakeholder power relationships influence the ability to both develop environmental strategies and determine their outcomes. They also indicate that port-focused plans are more effective when their impact on the entire supply chain is considered. The research also helps to illustrate examples of unintended consequences of freight-related environmental measures which will prove useful to policymakers and operators alike.

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