“America’s Port” Provides Incentive for Trucking on Alternative Fuels

Los Angeles County has the worst ozone in the U.S., and the diesel trucks traveling to and from its ports certainly contribute to the air quality. Anyone driving to downtown Long Beach on the 710 freeway toward the port knows it’s like a game of Frogger.

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission is taking aim at trucks in their effort to cleaning up port pollution in L.A. and neighbouring cities. On May 8, they approved $44.2 million in port funding to go toward the 2009 Clean Truck Incentive Program, in an effort to increase the number of trucks powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), or lithium battery electric power. The Clean Truck Program (CTP) will offer up to $80,000 per truck in an effort to reach the 1,000-truck goal for 2009, which will cost up to $100 million.

Without getting too deep into the numbers and legislation, it means the Port officials will be applying for some serious grant funding. And because the CTP also comes with some other legislation, the American Trucking Association has filed lawsuit, and cities like Long Beach are arriving at a Concession Agreement.

The CTP’s alternative fuel incentive is pushing for 900 LNG/CNG trucks and 100 electric trucks as part of the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). The 2008 incentive program resulted in 2,200 trucks that meet EPA emission standards. So far, emissions in the L.A./Long Beach port have decreased by 23 percent.


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