Regional air quality officials voted Friday to allow the largest exporter of coal and petroleum coke in Los Angeles Harbor to continue operating, despite complaints from nearby pleasure boaters that the company pollutes the air.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District hearing board voted unanimously to issue operating permits to Kaiser International Corp., which runs a 26-acre bulk-loading facility owned by the Port of Los Angeles.
The AQMD staff had refused to issue the permits last spring because of boaters' complaints about black dust from the facility, which boaters said pollutes the air and damages vessels at nearby marinas. Kaiser International, which denies it is the source of the dust, continued to operate while appealing the staff denial.
In issuing the decision, several board members emphasized that Los Angeles Harbor is a "working port," not a pleasure harbor.