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Commission Promotes Alternative-fuel Trucks

Exemptions will spur wider use of low-emission vehicles at the Port

February 22, 2008

To spur clean air innovations, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has amended its groundbreaking Clean Trucks fleet modernization program, adding provisions to encourage harbor truck operators to use to low-emission, alternative-fuel trucks.

In approving the Clean Trucks Program on Tuesday, February 19, the Port of Long Beach Commission set in motion a plan that will slash truck emissions by 80 percent over the next four years, financed in part by a fee of $35 per twenty-foot equivalent container unit (TEU). Also on Tuesday, the board went a step further, voting to require that no less than 50 percent of the Clean Trucks Program-financed trucks run on alternative fuels proven to be cleaner than diesel, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG). The board also instructed staff to monitor manufacturing capacity and to report back periodically.

With a projected $1.6 billion from the Clean Trucks Fee, the Clean Trucks Program will offer significant subsidies to finance the replacement of thousands of trucks that serve Port of Long Beach terminals. At the same time, to encourage truck owners to invest and replace their vehicles on their own, without the assistance of Port financing, the Commission approved exemptions or partial exemptions from the Clean Trucks Fee.

Cargo hauled by alternatively fueled trucks acquired without Clean Trucks Program financing will be completely exempt from the $35 per TEU fee, regardless of when the truck was purchased. Meanwhile, cargo hauled by clean diesel trucks – which meet the 2007 federal emission standards or better and were acquired without Clean Trucks Program financing – will have to pay only half the Clean Trucks Fee – also regardless of when the truck was purchased.

"With these exemptions, the Clean Trucks Program will help start reducing emissions immediately," said Harbor Commission President Mario Cordero. "The exemptions will not only encourage the use of alternative fuels, but they will also provide truck owners an incentive to act early to replace aging, dirty trucks."

With the Clean Trucks Program, the Port will replace 16,800 drayage trucks by 2012, beginning with a ban on the oldest, polluting trucks and collection of the Clean Trucks Fee on October 1, 2008.

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