Earlier this morning, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia at a joint press conference directed the commissioners of the San Pedro Bay Ports to present a timeline in updating the Ports’ Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition has issued the following statement in response:
“The aspirations expressed in today’s announcement by Mayors Garcetti and Garcia are admirable and we share their goal of delivering clean air to the thousands of families who live along the congested corridors that serve the ports. But, we cannot wait until 2035, 18 years from now, in hopes of an unproven technology to replace the diesel-dominated freight movement system that emits more than 40 percent of all smog-forming pollutants in Southern California, and bypass a proven clean truck solution that exists today.
“Replacing dirty diesel trucks with heavy-duty trucks that run on clean-burning renewable natural gas will improve our air immediately. One truck engine manufacturer recently certified a new natural gas engine that reduces smog-forming emissions by 90 percent when compared to the cleanest diesel, and provides the performance the trucking industry demands. That is a game-changing option we must immediately embrace to reach federal clean air deadlines for the region by 2023.
“About 40 percent of the nation’s imports pass through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. And, the heavy-duty trucking sector is the single largest source contributing to smog. Study after study tells us that the residents in the neighborhoods near the ports and the transportation corridors have higher rates of asthma, cancer and other upper respiratory conditions.
“The families living in the small cities along the trucking corridors that feed the ports bear the brunt of the ports’ pollution and cannot afford to wait for electric or fuel cell technology that could take a decade or more to catch up. The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition has produced the ACT Now Plan showing how the entire fleet of diesel trucks can be replaced by 2023 with trucks that reduce NOx emissions by 99 percent, eliminate petroleum consumption and diesel particulate matter, and are powered by renewable fuel (see www.ACTNOWLA.org). We will continue to work with the port commissioners to ensure that trucks fueled by renewable natural gas and that operate with near-zero engines are included in the revised Clean Air Action Plan come November.”Clean Air Action Plan, ports
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