Natural choice for new trucks at Cali port

LONG BEACH, Calif. — As part of the ongoing replacement of older trucks with new, cleaner models, the Port of Long Beach recently awarded subsidies for 100 new trucks.

Of the total, 98 were alternatively fueled liquefied natural gas (LNG) models. The trucks will add to a growing local fleet of less polluting vehicles, which, under the Port’s Clean Trucks Program, aims to reduce truck-related air pollution by 80 percent by 2012.

The 100 new truck subsidies were awarded through a lottery on July 7 from more than 1,200 applicants that included trucking companies and independent operators. At least half of the LNG trucks will be delivered in the next week or so.

Since the program began in late 2008, nearly 5,000 new trucks have registered to work at the Port. Trucks purchased under the Clean Trucks Program now carry more than half of cargo containers in and out of the Port.

By 2012, trucks that do not meet the strict 2007 federal truck emission standards will be banned from the ports. While a majority of the older trucks are being replaced by private industry, port and state bond money are also helping to speed the turnover, particularly to alternative fuels.

The Port of Long Beach Board Committee also approved entering into an agreement with the neighboring Port of Los Angeles, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board to distribute $46.5 million in Proposition 1B money, the 2006 statewide transportation measure, to subsidize more clean truck purchases.

Upon full execution of the final agreement the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports as well as AQMD will supplement the funds with at least another $5 million each. The new funds will put as many as 1,000 clean trucks on the roads including up to 500 LNG fueled trucks.

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