Port of Long Beach exempts natural gas vehicles from clean truck fund rate

View of the San Pedro waterfront and the Port of Los Angeles.

Natural gas-powered trucks will benefit from an exemption from the Port of Long Beach’s Clean Truck Fund Rate following an approval from the board of commissioners.

The Long Beach Board of Harbour Commissioners approved the exemption 4-1 on 24 May, according to a statement.

Natural gas trucks are lower emitters of nitrogen oxides, which are a contributor to smog and poor air quality.

In encouraging the trucking industry to decarbonise its fleet, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have set a rate of $10 per TEU.

The low nitrogen oxides exemption will apply to trucks that use natural gas engines meeting the 0.02 grams of nitrogen oxides per brake horsepower-hour standard.

The vehicles must be purchased and registered in the Port Drayage Truck Registry by 31 Dec 2022.

Commission President Frank Colonna said, “We remain confident that we can encourage the use of cleaner natural gas trucks now, and also nurture the technology that will allow us to meet our goal of a zero-emissions drayage truck fleet by 2035.

“To get there, we must start the journey.”

The Clean Truck Program was launched in 2008. Diesel emissions from trucks have been cut by as much as 97% since 2005 levels.

Trucks remain the Port’s largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the second highest source of nitrogen oxides.

Port of Long Beach Executive Director, Mario Cordero, added, “These [natural gas] trucks will emit 90% less nitrogen oxides than equivalent vehicles today.

“The question we were asking ourselves was do we reduce emissions now or do we wait for tomorrow? For our community, and our commitment to the Clean Air Action Plan, the answer is now.”

The ports have yet to implement the rate, but are working with a third-party vendor that will collect the rate for the ports. The Clean Truck Fund rate is expected to generate $80 million in the first year.

Zero-emissions trucks will be exempt from the future rate.

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