LOS ANGELES, California -- The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach joined shipping industry executives Friday to jump-start a 12-month program that will replace dirty diesel freight trucks with a "green port fleet."
The new fleet will initially include 20 new Kenworth trucks powered by liquid natural gas, LNG. Sponsors of the event, staged at the Yusen container terminal at the Port of Los Angeles, were Target Stores, NYK Steamship Lines, and Total Transportation Services, TTSI.
TTSI President Vic La Rosa announced his company's commitment to create a "totally green truck fleet" over the next year to support major shippers, including Target, the second largest goods importer to the United States. La Rosa explained that funding grants from the San Pedro Bay Ports and the South Coast Air Quality Management District will help offset the cost of the new trucks.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, "Forty-three percent of all cargo entering the United States comes through the international gateway of the San Pedro Bay Ports - cargo valued at hundreds of billions of dollars. Los Angeles reaps the economic benefit of this, but emissions from dirty diesel drayage trucks are a major source of hazardous pollution which must be addressed." He commended private industry representatives on hand at the event for their commitment to help clean the air by removing dirty diesel trucks from their fleets.
Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster recapped key provisions of the San Pedro Bay Ports' landmark Clean Air Action Plan, with its goal of deploying 5,300 clean-burning LNG-powered drayage trucks over time. "This will go a long way to help us reduce the negative health effects of diesel pollution in our community," he said.
Mayor Foster thanked the publicly traded natural gas provider Clean Energy for building the fueling stations and the infrastructure to fuel the new LNG trucks. Clean Energy has committed to build and supply three new natural gas fueling stations that will be conveniently accessible to Port cargo container trucks powered by LNG. Clean Energy says 14,000 natural gas vehicles are now fueling at its locations across the United States, including refuse, transit, shuttle, taxi, trucking, airport and municipal fleets.