In an effort to curb emissions and reduce air pollution, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach formed the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) in 2006. It was a comprehensive program designed to cut emissions from ships, tug boats, cargo cranes, and drayage trucks, almost all of which are powered by diesel engines. In 2008, the ports unveiled the Clean Trucks Program which began by banning all trucks from the ports that were manufactured prior to 1989. Since then, the program has been upgraded several times. In 2012, it brought the ban on older trucks forward to exclude any vehicles manufactured before 2007.
On October 1, the plan will be updated once again to exclude any trucks made before 2014. The goal is to make all transportation within the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which includes both ports, zero emissions by 2035. Since its inception, the CAAP has reduced the amount of particulates emitted by 85%, nitrogen oxides by 50%, and sulfur oxides by 95% according to some researchers.
Recently, 6 freight hauling companies have started using 22 new drayage trucks equipped with near-zero-emissions diesel engines manufactured by Cummins Westport. The ISX12N engines run on renewable natural gas. The combination of clean burning engines and low-carbon fuel results in the lowest diesel emissions in America. Emissions from these engines are 90% lower than the current diesel emissions standards mandated by the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The engines are being installed in trucks manufactured by Peterbilt, Freightliner, and Kenworth.
While 2035 is still some time away, the drayage industry as a whole should anticipate some financial impact as more companies are driven to invest and adopt near-zero-emissions diesel engines.
Click here to see a statement from the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach concerning the update.