SAN PEDRO, Calif. — June 17, 2008 — Los Angeles City Council today gave its approval to the Port of Los Angeles’ Clean Truck Program (CTP), the landmark plan designed to help slash port-related, diesel truck emissions by 80 percent.  Today’s Council vote adds further momentum to the Port’s transition to a License Motor Carrier-based truck concession system beginning October 1, 2008.

The CTP will accelerate the replacement of high-polluting trucks with cleaner trucks while elevating port drayage to 21st Century trucking industry standards. Licensed Motor Carriers will enter into drayage concession agreements with criteria including a requirement to commit to using 100-percent employee drivers by calendar year 2013 in a phased-in schedule. The Port will now be able to hold those companies accountable for maintaining trucks and employing properly credentialed drivers. That, in turn, will ensure a sufficient supply of drivers, improve truck safety and maintenance while lowering emissions, enhance Port security and reduce the negative impacts that drayage services have on communities near the Port.

“I applaud the City Council for saying enough is enough,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “When 1,200 lives are cut short every year by toxic emissions coming from the Port, we have a moral mandate to act fast and effectively. That is why LA is committed to a clean truck program that will clean and green our ports for the long haul.”

Pollution from the truck fleet serving the San Pedro Bay ports contributes to hundreds of premature deaths annually in Southern California, with the public paying between $100 million and $590 million annually in health impact costs alone, according to the California Air Resources Board.  The neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are facilitating a multi-billion dollar initiative to underwrite the cost of a new drayage fleet of “clean” trucks that meet 2007 federal emissions standards by January 1, 2012. Although the two ports’ Concession plans vary in their details, their collective goal is to reduce port related truck pollution by an estimated 80 percent.

“We’re very pleased that the Council has shown its support of the Clean Truck Program today,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  “We are confident that our Program is the best way to address the pollution that older, dirty trucks pour into the air we all breathe.”

Major benefits envisioned by the Port of Los Angeles through its Clean Truck Program include enhancements in the areas of efficiency, productivity and technology. The Port believes that a system which affords more accountability through the use of employee drivers will reduce the number of trucks required to provide drayage by moving away from the present “one truck, one driver” system toward a system that will increase efficiency by allowing multiple drivers to drive trucks over multiple shifts.

To further improve productivity and cost efficiency, while helping to reduce truck emissions, the Port will ask its concessionaires to agree to work with the Port to develop technologies that track empty containers and match them with deliveries of loaded containers. Concessionaires will also be asked to help develop effective schedule strategies that avoid congestion at terminal gates and optimize the use of drayage trucks.  The Port will begin registering frequent-calling trucks in the coming weeks and will also begin making on-site registration for the federal Transportation Worker Identification Credential available within the month.

The Port of Los Angeles, also known as “America’s Port,” has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy and the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. A recipient of numerous environmental awards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2007 Clean Air Excellence Award, the Port of Los Angeles is committed to innovating cleaner, greener ways of doing business. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port. A brighter future.