SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — At the Port of Long Beach, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to announce that over $26.5 million in clean-air grants have been awarded to Southern California as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) to date. Helping California speed its efforts to promote clean vehicles and green job growth – this funding will be used to retrofit and replace diesel engines in construction vehicles, cargo handling equipment, school buses, heavy-duty trucks and locomotives in the Southern California air basin, which includes Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
“California is once again proving that what is right for the environment is also good for the economy,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This funding will further California’s progress in cleaning our air while also supporting and creating green jobs, pumping up local economies and helping protect the health of Californians.”
U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson added, “Upgrading hundreds of vehicles and machinery to clean diesel technology will help create and save jobs and reduce the health and environmental costs of dirty diesel emissions. The 16 million residents of the South Coast can breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives. Putting green innovation, sustainable technology, and clean energy into action at these ports – our gateways to the global economy – will also send a powerful signal to the world that we can ensure our economic strength at the same time we protect our health and our environment.”
Innovative projects at ports include a hybrid-electric diesel tug boat and clean truck access-only passes. This innovation is being driven in part by measures implemented by the California Air Resources Board to reduce the health risk from toxic diesel soot and reduce regional air pollution. These measures require a variety of changes to operations including shore power for ships at birth, clean marine and vehicle fuels, engine repowers and replacements and idling restrictions for port trucks. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are working diligently to implement these measures earlier than required.
Under the Governor’s leadership, California has set the highest standard in the nation for reducing diesel emissions and is distributing the most funding ever assembled to combat diesel soot pollution, including $1 billion in Proposition 1B and additional funding from the Voucher Incentive Program, Carl Moyer and AB 118 funds to help businesses comply.
In 1998, California identified diesel exhaust as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems. Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing substances. Since taking office, Governor Schwarzenegger has worked to cut diesel emissions from trucks, buses, off-road equipment, ships, locomotives, port equipment and a variety of other sources. Clean fuels have also been used to reduce emissions from trucks, marine vessels, locomotives, stationary engines and equipment. The goal is to cut diesel soot emissions 85 percent by 2020.
Recipients of the over $26.5 million in clean-air grants include:
National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program:
· California Air Resources Board: $8,888,888to repower eight switch yard locomotives operating in the Southern California Air Basin.
· Port of Long Beach: $4,008,250 to implement a large-scale diesel emission reduction project involving equipment replacements, engine repowers, and/or engine retrofits for 112 pieces of cargo handling equipment including rubber-tired gantry cranes and two harbor crafts.
· City of Los Angeles Harbor Department, Port of Los Angeles: $1,991,750 to replace, repower, and/or retrofit a total of 27 pieces of port equipment, including harbor crafts.
· California Department of Transportation: $951,431 to reduce emissions from construction equipment including crawler tractors, excavators, forklifts, graders, rollers, rubber tire loaders, surfacing equipment, sweepers, scrubbers, tractors, loaders, and backhoes.
State Clean Diesel Grant Program:
· California Air Resources Board: $1,730,000 to provide grants to school districts to retrofit 43 school buses in the South Coast
Emerging Technologies Program:
· South Coast Air Quality Management District: $2,000,000 for Johnson Matthey SCR technology
· South Coast Air Quality Management District: $2,000,000 for Johnson Matthey SCCR technology
SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program:
· California Air Resources Board: receiving $5,000,000 for small-business owners off-road vehicles throughout California, including the South Coast.