Michelle Steel (CA-48) released the below statement following the announcement of new port queuing procedures for the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The new procedure requires cargo ships traveling eastbound to remain 150 miles west of Southern California, and northbound and southbound ships to remain more than 50 miles from California and Mexico. This new system mirrors legislation Rep. Steel introduced in early October following the oil spill in Orange County believed to be caused by an anchor from one of these idling ships, the Stopping Hazardous Incidents in the Pacific (SHIP) Act. The SHIP Act would ban ships from idling or anchoring 24 nautical miles off the Orange County coast.
“The cargo ships idling off our coast are an environmental and public health crisis,” said Rep. Steel. “I am glad the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are adopting this process to reduce the risks the record number of backlogged ships present to our community. It’s time to get our ports working again and get these ships moving and out of our waters.”
The new system was developed by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, Pacific Maritime Association, and Marine Exchange of Southern California and takes effect on November 16, 2021.
Earlier this week, Rep. Steel toured the Port of Long Beach to get a firsthand look at the problems ports are experiencing. She introduced bipartisan legislation to create an interagency task force to find solutions to the supply chain backlog, as well as legislation to reclassify Longshoremen to reflect the essential nature of their role in the supply chain.
For more information on the SHIP Act, click here.