L.A. and Long Beach mayors sign pact setting zero-emissions goals for ports

The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach signed an agreement Monday directing the nation’s largest port complex to reduce air pollution by moving toward zero-emission trucks and yard equipment.

The two-page declaration signed by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia says the ports “shall advance clean technologies and other efforts to move toward the goal of zero emissions” and establishes targets for zero-emission cargo-handling equipment by 2030 and zero-emission trucks by 2035.

Though the city-owned ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have made great strides reducing emissions under their joint 2006 Clean Air Action Plan, they remain the largest single source of smog-forming pollution in Southern California. Diesel pollution from thousands of trucks, cargo ships, locomotives and other freight-hauling vehicles serving the complex continues to harm the health of people in surrounding communities.

The mayors’ agreement largely reiterates targets proposed in an updated pollution-reduction plan under development by the ports. But it moves ahead a process that had faced delays and uncertainty in recent months as environmentalists pushed for stricter measures and industry voiced concerns about shouldering the cost.

The document signed Monday commits the ports to approving a new plan by November.

“Some folks have questioned our commitment,” Garcetti said at a news conference at the port complex before signing the agreement. “We’re here to put it down on paper.”

Garcetti acknowledged that achieving zero-emissions targets won’t be easy, calling it “brave new territory.”

There will be setbacks, he conceded, because science and technology advances may not keep pace with the agreement’s ambitions. “But if we don’t keep pushing, if we don’t have those goals we’ll never get there.”

Read the entire article at LATimes.com