Clean Trucks Program nears major milestone in replacing older trucks

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lng-trucksThe Port of Long Beach Clean Trucks Program is on track to achieve dramatic air quality and road safety improvements as the ongoing changeover of the big-rigs that serve port terminals approaches a major milestone on January 1, 2010.

As of the New Year, the Clean Trucks Program will have slashed air pollution from trucks in the Port by nearly 80 percent from just more than a year ago, by requiring the replacement or retrofitting of the Port’s trucking fleet.

Already, more than 6,000 new, clean trucks are registered in the Port’s Drayage Truck Registry. About 1,300 more being purchased are on the way. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, at the request of the state, have given a grace period to those owners of older trucks who have a binding purchase order on a new vehicle or an approved application for grant fund assistance.

As of the New Year, about 8,000 older trucks will have been banned forever from Port service under the program.

“We didn’t think the trucking industry could replace its entire fleet until 2012. But by January 1, 2010, it will have almost reached that goal. The Clean Trucks Program is nearly two years ahead of schedule in improving air quality,” Dr. Robert Kanter, the Port’s Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Planning, said.

The grace period for the new trucks that are on the way was approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners and is consistent with the grace period established by the California Air Resources Board. It extends to the delivery date of the new truck or to April 30, 2010, whichever comes first. Thanks to the extension, about 500 additional liquefied natural gas-fueled trucks will be added to the Port’s trucking fleet.

Dr. Kanter discussed the January 1 deadline and its clean air benefits at the December 21 meeting of the Board of Harbor Commissions. The archived webcast and PowerPointpresentation are now available for viewing.

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