Ports are powerful economic engines that play a major role in global production and distribution systems, as well as major sources of environmental problems and controversies. According to the United Nations, seven and a half billion metric tons of seaborne trade cargo flowed in and out the world's seaports in 2008. The growth in the amount of goods being shipped around the world, and the expansion of ports to accommodate ever-growing cargo volumes, has been followed by a corresponding growth in pollution that affects the natural environment and the health of communities that goods move through. These growing environmental threats are compounded by the fact that both ports and the shipping interests that rely on them are difficult to regulate. Although environmental externalities, given free ...

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