Long Beach port rolls out another 100 clean trucks

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The Port of Long Beach says it recently awarded subsidies for 100 new trucks, of which 98 were alternatively fueled liquefied natural gas (LNG) models. The port says the trucks will add to a growing local fleet of less-polluting vehicles that, under its Clean Trucks Program, will reduce truck-related air pollution by 80 percent by 2012.

Since the program began in late 2008, nearly 5,000 “clean” trucks have registered to work at the port; the clean trucks now carry more than half of cargo containers in and out of the port. By 2012, trucks that do not meet the strict 2007 federal “clean” truck emissions standards will be banned from the ports. The 100 new truck subsidies were awarded through a lottery on July 7 from more than 1,200 applicants that included trucking companies and independent operators.

The port says its board committee also approved entering into an agreement with the neighboring Port of Los Angeles, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board to distribute $46.5 million in Proposition 1B money, the 2006 statewide transportation measure, to subsidize more clean truck purchases.

Upon full execution of the final agreement, the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports — as well as AQMD — will supplement the funds with at least another $5 million each. The new funds will put as many as 1,000 clean trucks on the roads, including up to 500 LNG-fueled trucks. The AQMD will manage the new grants program.