HARBOR COMMUNITY BENEFIT FOUNDATION PROVIDES FIRST PUBLIC PROGRESS REPORT

The New Foundation Will Allocate up to $50 Million in Grants to Protect and Improve the Health, Quality of Life and Natural Environment of the Local Community.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Assemblymember Warren Furutani, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, AQMD Board Member and Council President Pro Tem Jan Perry, Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) Board of Directors and NRDC Attorney Melissa Lin Perrella Applaud Efforts of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation

Online PR News – 10-July-2011 – – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michelle Vega
July 8, 2011 818-652-1268

HARBOR COMMUNITY BENEFIT FOUNDATION
PROVIDES FIRST PUBLIC PROGRESS REPORT AND MAKES SEVERAL KEY ANNOUNCEMENTS

The New Foundation Will Allocate up to $50 Million in Grants to Protect and Improve the Health, Quality of Life and Natural Environment of the Local Community.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Assemblymember Warren Furutani, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, AQMD Board Member and Council President Pro Tem Jan Perry, Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) Board of Directors and NRDC Attorney Melissa Lin Perrella Applaud Efforts of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation

LOS ANGELES – Today, Assemblymember Warren Furutani, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Attorney Melissa Lin Perrella welcomed the newly appointed Board of Directors for the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation and provided reports on the progress already made by the new foundation at an event attended by Harbor Commissioners, community, business, and environmental leaders, and residents of the Harbor area at Wilmington Waterfront Park.

“The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation is a perfect example of local government, business and community collaboration, said Assemblymember Warren Furutani. “The mitigation trust fund is a big step in solving the environmental and health related impacts of the Port and the goods movement industry.”

"The creation of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation creates a clear path for growth at the port and sets up a mechanism that could one day result in the elimination of legal challenges to that growth" said Councilwoman Janice Hahn.
It protects the economic engine that provides good jobs throughout the region, while also protecting the health of the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington."

Melissa Lin Perrella, an attorney with the NRDC, helped negotiate an agreement between the City of Los Angeles, AQMD, and environmental and community groups that will place air filtration systems in Wilmington and San Pedro schools. Funding for the air filtration project comes from a MOU reached between the City of Los Angeles, and community and environmental groups that aims to mitigate the environmental impacts from expansion of the TraPac Container Terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. Based on its experience with school-based air filtration technologies, AQMD was selected to implement and administer the air filtration project. In describing the air filtration project, Lin Perrella stated:

“Thanks to the hard-fought battle by community and environmental groups, top-of-the-line air filtration devices will be installed in numerous schools throughout Wilmington and San Pedro. These filters will not reduce the air pollution kids breathe when they play outside, but at least when they are in school.

“Protecting the health of our children is critical,” said AQMD Board Member and Los Angeles City Council President Pro Tem Jan Perry. “We now know that these devices can be effective at reducing children’s exposure to particulate matter in the classroom. This air filtration program at Wilmington area schools will further both the community’s desire and AQMD’s goal of reducing children’s exposure to particulate matter.”

In addition to the school air filtration program, Michele Pritchard, vice-chair of the Board of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation announced that Foundation has begun searching for an Executive Director to lead the organization. “We are seeking an experienced leader who can support our strategic planning and implementation, oversee funding and grant outreach, ensure that we engage with all our stakeholders and actively participate in the local community and at the Port of Los Angeles,” said Pritchard. “Those who are interested or wish to recommend someone to us should contact us through our website at hcbf.org.”
The briefing was organized by the interim staff of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation to provide a forum for Foundation representatives and the various public officials working with the Foundation to provide an update on the various initiatives either already underway or about to begin. While the Foundation only recently held its first official meeting on May 31, 2011, the work plan for the Foundation has been in development for some time and spelled out in a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Los Angeles and the Port of Los Angeles in the summer of 2009.
The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation was created as a result of the settlement known as the “TraPac MOU,” an historic and precedent-setting agreement whereby the Port of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles agreed to address the negative cumulative environmental and public health impacts of its business operations on its neighbors – local port communities and their residents.
Under the direction of the newly elected Board of Directors, the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation will distribute up to $50 million in grants to the impacted region. As part of this fund, $6 million has been set aside toward the installation and maintenance of air filtration systems in Wilmington area schools.

In a prepared statement, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said:

"I would like to thank the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation for joining the fight to protect the health of the port community. It is an unfortunate truth that Harbor Area residents can be more vulnerable to asthma and other health problems due to their proximity to pollution from port-related operations. However, through the City's efforts to grow the port green, and the creation of the Foundation, we will be able to improve the quality of air and the quality of life for many Angelenos.
“All those involved with the TraPac MOU and the Port Community Mitigation Fund have invested considerable time and resources to launch the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation,” said John Miller, president of the San Pedro and Peninsula Homeowners Coalition and one of the TraPac appellants. “We look forward to witnessing the great results of the HCBF to ensure residents are protected from any additional pollution and other impacts produced by Port operations.”
About the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation
The purpose of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) is to address, through mitigation projects, off-port impacts from existing and future operations at the Port of Los Angeles in the communities of Wilmington and San Pedro.
The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation was created as a result of the settlement known as the “TraPac MOU,” an historic and precedent-setting agreement. It is a model for the nation. By signing the TraPac MOU, the Port of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles agree to address the negative cumulative environmental and public health impacts of its business operations on its neighbors – local port communities and their residents.
The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation traces its roots to over a decade of organized struggle by environmental and community groups in opposition to observed health risks and environmental impacts caused by Port-related sources. The mitigation trust fund is a big step in solving the environmental and health related impacts of the Port and the goods movement industry.

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Contact Information
Michelle Vega
HCBF

818-652-1268