Panama Canal project raises ire around East ports

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Associated Press

Posted on February 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 24 at 5:01 AM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Residents of New York and New Jersey worry that the raising of a major bridge to accommodate bigger ships could harm their environment.

The Port Authority plans to raise the Bayonne (BAY'-ohn) Bridge by more than 60 feet to accommodate ships coming from Asia through a widened Panama Canal.

The Coast Guard did a preliminary environmental assessment. It says the project will have no significant environmental or health effects.

But people in Newark and on Staten Island say the agency needs to do a full environmental review. They worry that more trucks offloading huge ships could lead to increased diesel pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency is also calling for a full review. Residents have until March 5 to comment on the preliminary assessment.

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