Port, Partners Recognized for Taking Aggressive Measures to Quell Diesel Pollution, “Setting Environmental Bar Worldwide”

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — December 14, 2009 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has awarded the Port of Los Angeles its 2009 Environmental Justice Achievement Award for the Port’s Clean Truck Program. The Clean Truck Program significantly reduces the impact of diesel truck pollution on economically disadvantaged people living near port facilities.

“Cleaning the air around the Port has been and remains one of my administration’s top priorities,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “This award is especially gratifying because it recognizes our efforts and is a signal that we are on the right track. We have come a long way since we started the Clean Truck Program, but we still have work to do to make our Port clean and green.”

“The Port of Los Angeles is honored to receive such recognition from the nation’s highest environmental authority,” added Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “We have taken unprecedented action to clean up these fleets and those efforts have made the air cleaner for the benefit of many communities surrounding the port complex.”

The EPA cited both the efforts and success of the Clean Truck Program in honoring the Port, stating that the Clean Truck Program “sets the environmental bar worldwide for other port facilities to improve air quality to neighboring communities.” Since its commencement on October 1, 2008, the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program has delivered an estimated 70-percent reduction in air emissions compared to 2007 average air emissions.  The award was shared by the Port of Long Beach and a group of strategic partners.

An Unprecedented Fleet Transformation

There are approximately 5,100 newer and cleaner trucks at the San Pedro Bay ports and on the surrounding freeways because of Clean Truck Program related initiatives.  These trucks are presently making nearly 66 percent of the cargo container pick-ups and drop-offs at the Port of Los Angeles – a number expected to increase to more than 90 percent in early 2010

Of the 5,100 trucks in service, the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Incentive Program was a catalyst in spurring the private purchase of 2,200 trucks. Combined with an earlier grant program that supported the purchase of 107 Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trucks, and a second LNG truck funding program with the South Coast Air Quality Management District during summer 2009, by next year the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program will have assisted in the purchase of more than 2,800 trucks serving the San Pedro Bay port complex.       

By spring, Port officials estimate that there will be between 6,500 and 7,000 trucks serving the ports that meet or exceed the U.S. EPA 2007 heavy-duty truck emissions standards.  These “clean trucks” that replace the older, dirtier models generate substantially lower emissions because of government regulations to build cleaner engines.

The program will progressively phase out older trucks until 2012, when only the cleanest trucks—those that meet U.S. EPA 2007 emission standards—will be allowed to enter the Port, resulting in immediate and ongoing environmental benefits delivered to nearby environmental justice communities.

Clean Truck Program stakeholders that were cited for assisting both ports in the success of their respective Clean Truck Programs include:

  • The Port of Long Beach
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Coalition for Clean Air
  • East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
  • The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice
  • The Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma
  • The Coalition for a Safe Environment
  • Pacific Merchant Shipping Association
  • American Association of Railroads
  • Majestic Realty Company
  • Waterfront Coalition
  • Future Ports
  • International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 13
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • International Warehouse Logistics Association
  • California Air Resources Board
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District
  • University of Southern California, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center
  • Occupational and Environmental Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA