CARB OKs billion dollar emissions plan tied to freight

| 2/29/2008

The California Air Resources Board approved a billion dollar plan on Thursday, Feb. 28, that aims to retrofit or replace truck and locomotive engines that spend much of their time in the Golden State.

CARB will dole out the money to air districts among the state’s four most polluted trade corridors, including: Los Angeles/Inland Empire; the Central Valley; the Bay Area; and the San Diego/border region. Local government agencies in those regions will in turn allocate money to truck owners, an agency spokesman told Land Line.

The funding breakdown includes $400 million for diesel trucks at seaports and intermodal rail yards; $360 million for diesel trucks hauling goods and for electrification at truck stop or distribution centers; $100 million for diesel freight locomotives; $100 million for cargo ship shore power; and $40 million for commercial harbor craft.

Truck drivers who want a piece of the pie should “go directly to one of the local agencies that were approved to receive funds,” said Patricia Rey, a CARB spokeswoman.

“Staff believes that only existing equipment that has been registered and operating in California for the last two years should be eligible for funding,” Rey said in mid-February.

Also, “equipment funded by the bond needs to operate exclusively or nearly exclusively in California for between four and 20 years, depending on equipment type to ensure Californians realize the full benefits of their investment,” Rey wrote.

CARB is expected to decide which public agencies will receive funds sometime this spring.

The agency officials estimate that the money will cut emissions by 7,800 tons of diesel particulate matter and 190,000 tons of nitrogen oxides.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer