The Los Angeles Harbor Commission on Thursday approved a controversial proposal to increase ship calls by 30% at one of the West Coast's largest shipping terminals and add 1,800 daily truck trips to an area already struggling to cope with some of Southern California's most polluted air, the Los Angeles Times reports.


About 200 people attended the commission hearing at Banning's Landing Community Center in Wilmington.


The panel voted 4 to 0 to certify the environmental impact report for the $1.5-billion upgrade at the TraPac Terminal.


Public testimony on the matter stretched more than six hours.


"This is the best thing that's happened here in two years," said Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.


"We're on our way. We're going to do it. We're going to clean it up," she said with a broad grin.


Andy Mardesich, president of the San Pedro and Peninsula Homeowners Coalition, was not impressed.


"This EIR continues to conduct port business in the very same manner that it always has," he testified, "and that, my friends, is with a resolute dedication to conduct commerce without conscience."


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