NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Saying "No" to New Shipping Ports

April 6, 2004

Environmental groups and residents along coastal areas are fighting the building and expansion of shipping ports. Yet new and expanded ports will reduce shipping costs and waiting times for incoming international goods and they are essential to America's participation in global trade, say observers.

Some projects that have been affected include:

  • In Los Angeles, a completed $97 million terminal has not yet opened due to concerns from the Natural Resources Defense Council over the installation of special cranes to preserve the harbor view.
  • A plan to build an 800-acre shipping port in Charleston, S.C., was defeated by legislators due to environmental concerns.
  • Environmentalists are taking court action to block a proposed shipping port in Savannah, Ga., over concerns that it would create maritime "sprawl."

While cargo ships are considered major polluters, there is little that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can do about ships coming in from other countries. However, U.S. ports are taking measures to reduce the impact of shipping ports on nearby residences, such as building retaining walls to block out sound and reducing emissions from freight-handling equipment.

Source: Daniel Machalara, "U.S. Ports Hit a Storm," Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2004.


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