Long Beach Port Officials Support Freight Fee Exemption For Low Emission Trucks As Interim Option Towards Zero Emissions Goal – Press Telegram
This week, Long Beach Port Commissioners voted 4 to 1 to support a plan that would exempt the cleanest natural gas trucks available from freight charges intended to help the sister port complex meet its zero emissions goal.
While logistics remain in the planning, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will soon charge a $ 10 freight charge that will help pay for the Clean Air Action Plan targets that the ports are committed to achieving. by 2035, including zero-emission trucks – which will be exempt from fees.
The measure that Long Beach commissioners passed this week, meanwhile, backs allowing so-called low-NOx trucks, with natural gas-powered engines, to a lifetime fee exemption as well, provided they meet certain standards.
The move, the commissioners said, will give truck drivers the green light to buy these cleaner trucks rather than sticking to diesel-powered vehicles. Large, heavy, emission-free trucks are still in development and there aren’t enough of them on the market to offer an immediate option. But Low-NOx trucks are available.
The Los Angeles Port Commission has yet to approve a similar exemption, but Port of Los Angeles officials said in a statement it was aligned with its goals.
“This (Clean Air Action Plan) envisions short-term support for near-zero-emission trucks with the goal of reaching zero-emission trucks by 2035,” a spokesperson for the Port of LA , Phillip Sanfield. “We are carefully evaluating the elements of the program and will submit recommendations to the Los Angeles Port Commission for review.”
Natural gas trucks emit lower levels of nitrogen oxides, or NOx, which lead to smog.
However, not everyone agrees with this decision. Some see it as a compromise that will delay the goal of zero emissions.
Heather Kryczka, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said this would lead to a “detour” from the zero emission target. Turning to low-NOx trucks running on natural gas, she added, will only undermine the desired outcome, calling it myopic and a “bogus” solution.
Over the next 18 months, some 6,300 highly polluting trucks built before 2010 will need to be transferred to meet the Jan. 1, 2023 deadline set by the California Air Resources Board, said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach.
“The goal is to get to zero emissions and I think we will get there before 2035,” Cordero said at a port commission meeting.
However, with zero-emission trucks not yet widely available, supporters of the new exemption say natural gas models make good sense in the meantime, offering up to 90% reductions in protoxide emissions. ‘nitrogen.
“We call these (vehicles) ‘near zero emissions’ because they are 90% cleaner” than diesel engines, said Matt Miyasato, deputy general manager of the South Coast Air Management District. “We have a big challenge to clean the air and one of the biggest sources (of pollution) are heavy trucks on the road.
“We’re all looking for zero-emission trucks,” he added, “but the point is, they’re just not there in large numbers yet. They will not be widely available over the next few years. “
Commissioner Robert Olvera Jr. voted against the motion, citing transparency issues. The agenda was posted late last week and didn’t give residents enough time to hear about the vote or weigh in, he and other critics said.
But the majority of the commission backed the plan, saying it brought the needle closer to the ultimate goal using immediately available technology.
“I think it’s important that we move on and get to an achievable goal instead of just kicking the streets,” said commission chairman Frank Colonna.