LA Port: Cargo truck fleet has reduced emissions 80 percent

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AP Photo/Jeff Lewis

File: Los Angeles and Long Beach independent port truck drivers convoy from Los Angeles to the Port of Long Beach in diesel trucks in support to the port's "Clean Trucks Program," Wednesday, June 27, 2007, in Los Angeles as they push for cleaner air and better working conditions for drivers.

Environmentalists and Los Angeles City officials said Wednesday they have successfully “greened” the cargo truck fleet at the Port of L.A. The program to introduce cleaner vehicles there has surpassed its goal of reducing truck emissions by 80 percent.

The Clean Truck Program started four years ago with a gradual ban on high-polluting trucks. First to go: more than 1,500 pre-1989 diesel trucks used for short-haul cargo container trips.

The Port Authority offered $55 million in incentives for licensed carriers to replace those older trucks with cleaner ones, including natural gas-fueled rigs.

"We did it," said Geralyn Lopez Mendoz, vice president of the Harbor Commission from 2005 to 2010. "We said what we were going to do and we did what we said. It’s just a remarkable thing in this day and age to set such a huge example of how public policy should work and the fact that we dramatically reduced harmful pollutants in the port area.”

These days, nearly 10,000 clean trucks service the port.

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