The Port of L.A. rolled back measures to cut pollution -- during its 'green' expansion

Shortly after the Port of Los Angeles agreed to require air quality improvements at one of its busiest terminals seven years ago, top port officials privately began rolling back pollution-cutting measures they promised, government records obtained by The Times show.

The city-owned port gave China Shipping North America permission to ignore some of the emissions-reduction requirements the city agreed to impose as part of a highly publicized legal settlement with environmentalists and homeowners near the complex.

As a condition of allowing the company to expand its terminal in 2008, the port pledged to transform it into a "green" operation through a series of measures to reduce harmful emissions from diesel trucks, container ships and cargo-handling equipment.

In September, the port disclosed that it has failed to carry out several requirements.

Port records obtained by The Times under the California Public Records Act show that just a few months after the city approved the expansion, Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the port at the time, assured China Shipping that it would face no consequences for violating a major requirement: Instead of idling diesel-powered engines while docked, at least 70% of its ships would have to plug into shore-based electricity, known as Alternative Maritime Power.

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