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Promised filtration systems at Long Beach schools were never installed

LA School Report | July 26, 2016

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By Rachel Uranga

School children and parents living near the single largest source of pollution in Southern California were promised air-cleaning filters in classrooms nearly four years ago – but many never saw them.

In 2012, the Port of Long Beach signed a deal to give Long Beach Unified School District $4 million to install air filtration systems and erect pollution-cutting landscapes in 27 school facilities near the corridor of the nation’s largest and most active seaport complex.

“The point of getting the money was to try to get these projects implemented as quickly as possible,” said Heather Tomley, director of environmental planning for the Port of Long Beach.

It was a high priority for the port, she said, as children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to diesel pollutants. With big rigs traveling to and from the port day and night, residents who live near the port have higher rates of asthma and respiratory problems linked to diesel-emissions.

But so far, fewer than half the schools – just 12 – have the filtration systems. And of those 12, the filtration systems burned out at least 10 air-conditioning motors at schools.

Click here for the full story from the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

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