The Port of Los Angeles paid China Shipping $5m to upgrade 17 vessels with shore power equipment – a clean-air measure to prevent ships running their diesel engines while in dock – only for the China state-owned company to stop the majority of its ships visiting LA a few years later, according to Los Angeles Times.
As many of the vessels that took China Shipping’s place on Asia routes were not shore power-equipped the port missed out on the environmental benefits it had paid for.
The Port made the payment in 2005 but by 2010 nine of China Shipping’s 17 ships that had been visiting LA were docking elsewhere.
The shore-power upgrades were just one of various anti-pollution measures required in a 2005 court settlement of a case brought by nearby residents and environmentalists against the expansion of the China Shipping container terminal at the port. It is one of eight container terminals there.
The expansion went ahead on condition a raft of anti-pollution standards was met. Last October it was revealed that the port had failed to enact 11 of the 52 required actions. Among the shortfalls was the Port’s 2009 decision, not publicized, to exempt China Shipping from the shore-energy plug-in requirement anyway.
Air quality in the working-class neighbourhoods close to the port is the worst in Southern California.