The Port of Long Beach plans to give out $46 million in grants to community organizations to develop health programs in areas most affected by port-related pollution in the San Pedro Bay.

The Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday approved guidelines for the grant funding that will be available to local organizations to apply for later this year, port officials said in a statement. The Port Community Grants Program is part of the port’s efforts in recent years to reduce pollution, including using lower-emission trucks and cutting ship pollution.

The new approval for grant money adds to a $18.2 million award under the grants program. The port plans to distribute all of the funding over the next 12 to 15 years.

“We believe in environmental sustainability and social responsibility, and this program loudly and clearly demonstrates the Port of Long Beach’s pledge to the community to be a responsible neighbor,” Lori Ann Guzmán, president of the board of harbor commissioners, said in a statement.

For a period of three years beginning this year, $3 million will be set aside for health services including screening and diagnosis, outreach, education, and health worker training for those affected by asthma and other respiratory diseases. Another $400,000 is intended to replace air filters in facilities that serve sensitive populations such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, the chronically ill, and individuals with respiratory and cardiopulmonary illnesses, the port said.

Port officials said priority will be given to groups in zones covering downtown Long Beach and extending north along the 710 freeway. Both zones cover parts of Wilmington, Carson, Compton, and Paramount. However, groups based anywhere in Long Beach can apply.

Manufacturing and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @shwanika.

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