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L.A., Long Beach port truck fleet to get younger, cut pollution

December 13, 2011 |  4:03 pm

PoLB_Clean Trucks_0228
One of the newest major seaport truck fleets in the U.S. will get even younger Jan. 1, when the last of about 1,100 older rigs are banned from operating at the harbor.

Every truck that enters the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on that day will be no older than the 2007 model year, said officials for both ports. This was the latest phase of an overhaul that began Oct. 1, 2008, when 1,500 trucks at least 20 years old were barred from the harbor.

Some of the rigs were so old then that the running joke around San Pedro Harbor was that it was the place where old trucks went to die. Today, the ports claim a reduction of pollution from trucks of between 80% and 90% since 2008.

“We set an example for the entire industry,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Susan E. Andersen Wise. “We helped replace more than 10,000 pollution spewing trucks with newer, less polluting ones and the bottom line is that our communities can breathe better."

Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the neighboring Port of Los Angeles, said, "The Port of Los Angeles, along with our business partners, has made the business of moving cargo more healthy. The results speak for themselves, and we couldn’t be more proud of reaching this milestone."

Officials at both ports said the current fleet, which includes 880 natural gas vehicles, will reduce diesel particulate matter by more than 40 tons a year versus the old fleet.

Melissa Lin Perrella, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the harbor is still the biggest single source of air pollution in Southern California, adding that more work remains to be done at a port complex that anticipates significant cargo growth in coming years.

But Perrella said "these ports were first in the nation to adopt a clean truck program. They should be commended for the policy they put in place."


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-- Ronald D. White

Photo: Trucks line up for business outside the Long Beach Container Terminal at the Port of Long Beach. Credit: Port of Long Beach