Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this week marked a milestone in the Clean Truck Program that required all trucks at the Port of Los Angeles to meet tougher environmental standards by Jan. 1.
“The Clean Truck Program has greened our port for the long haul and ensured Angelenos will breathe cleaner air for generations to come,” Villaraigosa says. “We have proven that we can increase economic and environmental sustainability at the same time. With $1.5 billion worth of investments in capital improvement projects over the next five years, we plan to keep the port’s status as the nation’s premier trade gateway.”
The Port of Los Angeles developed the Clean Truck Program, a plan to reduce pollution and offset public health risks from older trucks. Through the program, the Port of Los Angeles offered incentives to purchase newer, cleaner trucks while enacting a progressive truck ban with associated fees.
“The Port of Los Angeles, along with our industry partners, has made the business of moving cargo cleaner,” says Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz. “The results speak for themselves, and we couldn’t be more proud of reaching this milestone.”
The port says it exceeded the goal of reducing harmful emissions from trucks alone by at least 80 percent and did so ahead of schedule. According to the port, emissions studies show that since 2005, emissions from trucks alone have been reduced dramatically, including a 92 percent reduction in sulfur oxides, an 89 percent reduction in diesel particulate matter and a 77 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides – the primary pollutants associated with smog and asthma.
“Today we are celebrating a national model that has set the bar for what it takes to create healthy neighborhoods for port area residents while promoting a vital port economy.” said Patricia Castellanos, chair of the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports. ”Above all, we applaud the Villaraigosa administration for their commitment to the program’s long-term sustainability that promises the creation of good jobs and reduction of toxic diesel rig emissions for years to come.”
The port is continuing its greening efforts by fostering new green technologies, including a pilot program for a commercially feasible zero-emissions truck. “The Clean Truck Program provided a clear roadmap for forward-thinking businesses to compete without dirty trucks,” says David Petitt, director of the Southern California Air Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Its success represents a major step toward our climate and clean air goals, bringing relief to millions of Californians whose health has been negatively affected by diesel truck pollution.”