Greening the Port Trucking Industry: Analyzing the Potential to Create a Green Industry Based on Heavy-Duty Diesel Truck Retrofit Devices in Los Angeles

As part of a layered effort by the City of Los Angeles to address environmental concerns, the San Pedro Bay Ports adopted a landmark Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) in November 2006. The plan outlines measures to reduce diesel emissions from all the Ports’ activities, including port trucking. The reduction is required to address the severe health hazards imposed on those residing and working near the truck routes. The CAAP is an important and positive step towards a greener City, yet a potentially critical piece missing from the CAAP is a strategy for the City of Los Angeles to benefit economically from clean up activities.  

This report explores the possibility of creating a green industry in Los Angeles based on diesel exhaust treatment technologies for heavy-duty trucks. A green industry is defined as any activity related to efforts to clean up pollution, promote conservation, and enhance the environment Heavy-duty trucks were chosen as the target for a green industry since there are an estimated 41,000 trucks that serve the San Pedro Bay Ports and emissions from these trucks have serious health consequences for communities living near the Ports and along trucking routes. Such an industry could both clean the region’s air and provide meaningful employment opportunities for the unemployed or underemployed in communities surrounding the Ports. Los Angeles is also a logical place for this type of green industry given the region’s struggle with: chronic air pollution; increasing volumes of truck traffic from the rapidly growing San Pedro Bay Ports; and the Ports’ recent adoption of the CAAP, which includes two measures for controlling emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, one of which is to retrofit over 9,000 heavy-duty diesel trucks with emission control devices.

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