- The Long Beach and Los Angeles port commissions approved a $10 fee for truck cargo to help finance a transition to electric drayage vehicles at the two giant seaports, called the Clean Truck Fund, according to a joint resolution published by the commissions Monday.
- The fee — which will total $20 for Class 8 trucks — would be placed on trucks that don't meet state standards on low-or-zero emissions. The ports expect it to raise $90 million annually, according to the resolution.
- Details of the Clean Truck Fund, including implementation timeline, are still being worked out. The ports will design a detailed plan for the fee, and the harbor commissions will consider approving the plan, possibly later this year, officials told Transport Dive Wednesday.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, are seen as major causes of air pollution in Southern California, which has fought smog for decades.
While air quality has improved, city officials in Los Angeles and Long Beach would like to get the ports, the nation's largest port complex, to use battery-electric or fuel cell-electric drayage vehicles, exclusively, by 2035, to make further environmental improvements.
Cargo companies have pushed forward on such plans, unveiling Class 8 trucks and other vehicles powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Carriers such as UPS and manufacturers such as PACCAR unveiled a variety of vehicles at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo, held in Long Beach, in April 2019.
But activists and city officials want faster transition. Breathe LA and other environmental groups said the Clean Truck Fund was too small, and wanted a $50 fee. Union groups who work the ports supported the commissions' fee schedule and opposed larger fees.
Clean Truck Fund fee — $10 per TEU, placed upon cargo owners — is meant to deliver a faster transition via the ports' Clean Air Action Plan. The money will go into subsidies meant to reduce emissions in the near term while advancing the development and use of zero-emission drayage trucks, port officials said.
"The establishment of a rate is a call to our agency partners, truck manufacturers, and industry stakeholders that the Port of Los Angeles stands ready to partner in a comprehensive effort to achieve our shared vision of an economically strong trade gateway powered by zero-emission equipment," said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, in a statement after the Monday vote.
The ports will administer the fee, but await state standards on low-emission trucks. The state standards will determine what type of trucks qualify.
The Monday vote was a rare joint meeting of the port commissions of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Held in Long Beach meeting chambers, Los Angeles commissioners voted for the fee by a vote of 5-0. Long Beach voted to approve the fee by a vote of 3-2.