The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday evening that the Port of Long Beach (POLB) will receive $1.2 million in funding to replace its eight yard diesel tractors with electric, automated guided vehicles.
The funding comes from the Diesel Emission Reduction Act, which is managed by the West Coast Collaborative, a clean air partnership of the EPA comprising the Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest Regions.
“By promoting clean diesel technologies, we can improve air quality, support green jobs, and fight global climate change,'' said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for EPA's Pacific Southwest office. “Public-private partnerships like the West Coast Collaborative are leading the way on reducing harmful diesel emissions.''
The funding will specifically go toward the $4.5 million cost of purchasing the eight new all-electric, zero emission vehicles, to be used at the container terminal.
“These (new) vehicles will cut pollution, providing immediate health benefits to surrounding communities,'' said Rick Cameron, the port's managing director of planning and environmental affairs.
Efforts to reduce particulate matter in turn reduces black carbon, which absorbs light and reduces the reflectivity of snow and ice, interacting with clouds, according to the EPA. This process directly impacts the climate.
Additionally, the EPA states that people living in areas with high emissions, such as the people living in the census tracks surrounding the Port of Long Beach, face an increased risk of cancer, asthma and birth defects in addition to decreased lung function.
City News Service contributed to this report.