US Ports in Panama Pollution Scare
Diesel levels are currently 100 to 1,000 times higher than the benchmark in the state of New Jersey, US, which could have links to the Port of New Jersey and surrounded polluted areas. The figure will likely rise following the completion of the Panama Canal Expansion in April, 2016, as more ships sail through to the US East and West Coast, according to the Washington Post.
Angelo Logan, Policy Lead for a Coalition of Environment and Community groups called the Moving Forward Network, said: “We call these facilities diesel magnets. They need to be looked at in the same way that power plants are looked at, in the same way that an oil refinery is looked at.
“We can grow and we can grow green, but what it requires is that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) really push industry and the ports to move into zero emissions technologies. There are many different governments and authorities, and EPA has a national reach.”
The EPA requires states to develop plans in order to meet air quality standards and to being broader areas into compliance.
However, there is still a concern that the neighbourhoods closest to the ports will not reach the safe level of emissions.