Seaports have a duty to protect the communities they serve from air pollution associated with goods movement, Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero told a gathering of industry leaders recently at the American Association of Port Authorities Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C.
Speaking in his capacity as the AAPA Board of Directors chairman, Cordero urged port authorities to commit to “environmental social governance” – developing policies to decarbonize and convert cargo-handling and drayage truck fleets to zero emissions.
“We must recognize that protecting the health of our neighboring communities from harmful emissions due to port operations is a paramount responsibility,” said Cordero. “As port executives you can make a difference, the only question is whether you will choose to make a difference.”
Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal applauded Cordero for amplifying the Port of Long Beach’s Green Port philosophy at the international event.
“Although we’re always working on doing better, at the Port of Long Beach we’ve shown it’s possible to have both good jobs and environmental sustainability,” said Neal. “Our diesel particulate emissions are down 90% since 2005, even while cargo has increased more than 20%, because of the landmark Green Port Policy and the Clean Air Action Plan.”
On Friday, April 1, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles launched the Clean Truck Fund rate. The rate – $10 per twenty-foot equivalent unit on loaded import and export cargo containers hauled by drayage trucks as they enter or leave container terminals – will be collected from beneficial cargo owners and will help fund and incentivize the changeover to cleaner trucks. Exemptions to the CTF rate will be initially provided for containers hauled by zero-emission trucks and low-nitrogen oxide-emitting trucks. It is expected to generate up to $90 million in the first year.