CARB awards $200M to clean busy trade corridors

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The California Air Resources Board on Thursday, June 24, awarded $200 million in Proposition 1B funds to cut emissions from heavy-duty trucks and other sources in the state’s four busiest trade corridors. The Los Angeles/Inland Empire, Central Valley, Bay Area and San Diego/Border regions received the Proposition 1B funds approved by voters in 2006. Previous Proposition 1B funds in 2008 provided $246 million to local agencies putting more than 5,000 cleaner trucks on the state’s roads.

“This money will help put cleaner trucks on our roads, cleaner locomotives in our railyards and cleaner harborcraft in our ports,” says CARB Chairman Mary Nichols. “Thanks to these funds, California communities located in busy freight transport areas will see the public health payoff much sooner, and our children will be exposed to fewer toxic emissions from older, dirty diesel equipment.”

The trade corridors to receive funding are $110 million for Los Angeles/Inland Empire, $55.5 million for Central Valley and $31 million for both the Bay Area and San Diego/Border regions. The recommended distribution of the $200 million among the four trade corridors is based on program guidelines adopted in March. The money will be used to reduce emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks, locomotives and railyards, ship berths, cargo equipment and commercial harbor craft such as tugboats and crew and supply vessels.

The $200 million will be distributed to the following projects: $112 million for diesel truck upgrades, $81 million for ships at berth and cargo handling projects, $6 million for freight locomotive projects, and $.5 million for harbor craft projects. Projects include truck grants that will help owner-operators and others comply early with the statewide truck rule adopted in 2008. The newly funded projects are estimated to reduce emissions by more than 29,000 tons of nitrogen oxides and more than 600 tons of particulate matter over the life of the project.

The $1 billion Proposition 1B: Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program is funded through the sale of voter-approved bonds in the financial market and is a partnership between CARB and local agencies such as districts and seaports to help reduce air pollution emissions and health risk from freight movement along California’s trade corridors. Local agencies apply to CARB for funding, and then those agencies offer financial incentives to owners of equipment used in freight movement to upgrade to cleaner technologies. Projects funded under this program must achieve early or extra emission reductions to complement CARB regulations.