California ports announce ambitious emissions-reduction plan

| 11/7/2006

The final draft of a report on cleaning up the air at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach calls for replacing or retrofitting as many as 16,000 trucks.

That report, according to a press release, will be voted on Nov. 20 by a joint board meeting of the two ports. If enacted, the plan would explore using gate fees and offering incentive programs to get the trucks that pollute the most off the road.

But Rachel Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Port of Los Angeles, told "Land Line Now" on XM Satellite Radio that under the plan, owner-operators shouldn't have to pay for retrofitting or replacement their equipment.

"The port of Los Angeles is working with a company called the Gateway Cities program. What they do is work directly with the owner-operators, and we contribute the funding to them." Campbell said. "They switch out these older trucks - 1993 or older - or they retrofit them for cleaner-burning alternative-fuel or cleaner-burning diesel engines."

Land Line first reported on the Gateway Cities Council of Governments in July 2005. (Click here to read the original story.) Unfortunately, funding for a nationwide version of that program still has not been finalized.

Campbell said the ports will spend $200 million over the next five years for replacing and retrofitting trucks. The money is expected, at least in part, to come from Proposition 1B, a $1 billion transportation initiative that California residents voted on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

- By Reed Black, staff writer