The California Air Resources Board on Dec. 31 announced an additional $8 million in compliance assistance funding that, combined with recent $3 million in funding, will partly pay for more than 1,200 retrofits and more than 100 new trucks working the Port of Oakland.
The additional Proposition 1B funding will provide $5,000 per truck for 1,216 additional truck owners to install particulate matter filters on their rigs, and provide $50,000 for owners of 103 old trucks to purchase newer models. CARB will continue to work with its local, port and federal partners to seek additional compliance assistance funding. CARB will also consider regulatory changes to provide compliance flexibility while seeking additional matching funds from other sources.
Truckers who made timely application for retrofit funding to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in 2008 and 2009 but were denied funding when the money ran out, and who are unable to enter the port under the new rule, which took effect Jan. 1, are eligible for the grants. In addition, truckers who applied and qualified for replacement funding in 2008, but were denied in 2009 when the money ran out, are also eligible.
Those who meet all of the Proposition 1B eligibility criteria will receive an extension as soon as possible but no later than February to operate their trucks at ports and rail yards until April 30.
“With today’s announcement, we are helping keep more than 1,200 truckers operating at the Port of Oakland,” said CARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols.
Air quality officials laid out a five-step process for people who were previously denied retrofit funding for trucks serving the Port of Oakland:
The average cost of a particulate matter filter is $16,000, with the devices removing 85 percent of the diesel emissions from older trucks. With this recent announcement, state, local and federal air agencies and ports now have provided $37 million in funding to help clean up more than 2,300 trucks at the Port of Oakland. Overall, CARB, local air districts, ports and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency have contributed more than $196 million statewide to help port truckers meet the 2010 requirements, half of which came from voter-approved Proposition 1B funds.
CARB passed the port truck rule in December 2007, which requires truck owners operating in and out of ports and intermodal rail yards to retrofit and replace their trucks over the next several years. CARB estimates the regulation will prevent 580 premature deaths over the next five years, with benefits being the most dramatic in the communities where port trucks are heavily concentrated.
CARB passed an additional rule last December that will clean up the remaining truck fleet operating in California, estimated at one million vehicles.
CARB listed diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant over a decade ago in order to protect public health. Through its diesel risk reduction strategy, the agency plans on reducing toxic diesel emissions in the state 85 percent by the year 2020.