- Terelle Jerricks
Villaraigosa Launches City Smartphone App
The new city mobile application will allow Angelenos to submit 311 service requests, locate city resources and pay city bills through their smartphones. By taking advantage of a smartphone’s GPS and camera, the app promises to make reporting complaints and finding city services more accessible.
The citizen-centric design allows users to “Submit Service Requests” for the most popular city services, including pothole repair, graffiti removal, and bulky item pick up. Constituents will be able to pay their water and power bill with the “Pay My LADWP Bill” function. With the “Find City Info” mapping tool, Angelenos can quickly and conveniently locate the nearest parks, swimming pools and libraries through the “Find City Info.” The application also features “City Hall News,” a tool that keeps residents up to date with information about the latest City programs and that links to City Hall’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter feeds.
My LA 311 is available for free download from the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Data Shows Lowest Diesel Exhaust Level near POLA
SAN PEDRO — Despite increased cargo volumes, concentrations of diesel particulate matter are down by 72 percent in Wilmington and 61 percent in San Pedro, compared to 2006.
New data from four air quality-monitoring stations in and around the Port of Los Angeles show concentrations of elemental carbon in the Port area air fell in 2012 to the lowest levels since the port began collecting data in 2005. Elemental carbon is used as an indicator of diesel particulate matter, or DPM, which is the soot produced by the combustion of diesel fuel.
For calendar year 2012, elemental carbon was down by 72 percent in Wilmington compared to calendar year 2006, which was the first full year of monitoring data collected. The San Pedro monitoring station also showed a significant decrease of 61 percent. These drops in elemental carbon happened even as cargo volumes at the port have rebounded – in 2012 the Port handled 1.7 percent more cargo than in 2011, but elemental carbon at both the Wilmington monitoring and San Pedro stations were 39 and 18 percent lower, respectively, than in 2011.
Concentrations of another key air pollutant related to diesel exhaust, PM2.5 (particles less than 2.5 microns in size) met federal and state standards for the fifth straight year. In addition to port and industry initiatives, state air quality regulations also have helped reduce emissions from the big diesel engines that power much of the goods movement that flows through the San Pedro Bay port complex, the nation’s largest trade gateway in terms of containerized cargo.
Since 2005 the port has operated four air quality measurement stations: one in San Pedro, another in Wilmington, and two inside the port complex, including one in the middle of port operations. The stations are strategically located to measure air quality both in the port complex and in the communities downwind of the port, where air quality is affected by emissions from the ships, trucks, terminal equipment, harbor vessels and train locomotives that move cargo through the nation’s largest container port.
The state’s restrictions on the sulfur content of fuel used in vessels and equipment operated at the port, the Port’s Clean Truck and Alternative Maritime Power programs, and the San Pedro Bay Vessel Speed Reduction program are among the key measures the State and the Port have used to tackle vessel emissions. The Port has also spent millions of dollars retrofitting cargo-handling equipment and harbor craft engines with pollution control devices, and pioneering the use of alternative fuels and power systems.
The air quality monitoring stations measure, in real time, ambient concentrations of several key air pollutants, including two sizes of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5 ). In addition, twenty-four hour integrated samples of particulates are collected on filters every third day for detailed chemical analyses, which cannot be done with real-time monitors. Those analyses include measuring the amount of elemental carbon in the filters.
Each station also collects wind speed, wind direction, and temperature data so that the air pollutant data can be used in models that track the movement of pollutants. The real-time data can be viewed at caap.airsis.com and past filter-based data back to 2005 can be viewed on the Port’s website (www.portoflosangeles.org/environment/air_quality.asp).