EPA awards Port of Long Beach $4M air quality grant

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The Port of Long Beach has received a $4 million air quality grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to replace or retrofit, with less polluting technology, more than 100 forklifts, tractors, tugboats and other older diesel-powered equipment at the port. The grant is part of $25 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding announced Wednesday, July 8, to help California agencies reduce diesel exhaust.

The Long Beach port says it identified the most cost-effective projects for the grant funds, ranging from diesel-powered cargo-handling equipment and gantry cranes to tugboats and bulk cargo loaders; included in the 114 machines are an excavator and a sweeper vehicle.

The Port of Long Beach says it does not own the cargo-moving equipment in operation at its shipping terminals; the grant money will go to six port tenant customers who own and operate the equipment, to help them cut pollution from cargo operations. Many of the machines will be replaced, and others will be “repowered” or retrofitted with cleaner-running engines.

“This grant will allow the port to augment ongoing efforts to reduce diesel pollution from all sources in the port, and fulfill the goals of the Green Port Policy and Clean Air Action Plan,” says Dr. Robert Kanter, Port of Long Beach managing director of environmental affairs and planning.