Cleaner air is on the way. Earlier today the boards of harbor commissioners for the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles unanimously approved an update to the Clean Air Action Plan. The plan aims to build upon the successes of its previous iteration, passed in 2006, which laid out guidelines for reducing harmful air emissions by converting truck and ship technologies, among other strategies.


The update includes the ports’ most aggressive goals yet, which were in large part a result of a directive by the mayors of Long Beach and Los Angeles for the ports to create a path to zero emissions operations.


“These new policies and strategies are some of the most progressive air quality rules in the nation,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in a joint statement from the ports. “We are serious about fighting climate change, protecting local residents, and promoting economic success at our ports.”


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reflected, “This update to the Clean Air Action Plan is an important step toward our ambitious goal of zero-emissions landside goods movement by 2035, and I look forward to making even more progress with our partners in the months and years to come.”


The CAAP document indicates that it could cost between $7 billion to $14 billion to implement its goals. According to a statement released by the ports today, major goals within the CAAP include the following:

  • By 2020, requiring terminal operators to purchase zero-emission equipment or the cleanest equipment available when purchasing cargo handling equipment. The end goal is to transition terminals to zero-emissions operations by 2030.
  • Transitioning to a zero-emission drayage trucking fleet by 2035, creating rate structures and incentives to encourage turnover to near-zero-emission truck technologies in the interim.
  • Creating universal truck appointment systems at terminals and identifying other programs to both reduce emissions and improve the flow of goods.
  • Creating infrastructure plans that support electrification and use of alternative fuels and other energies for terminal operations.
  • Expanding on-dock rail infrastructure with the goal of moving half of all port cargo by rail.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
  • By 2023, reducing emissions of diesel particulate matter to 77%, nitrogen oxides by 59% and sulfur oxides by 93%, compared to 2005 levels.

Coordinated strategies for achieving these goals fall within the categories of clean vehicles, equipment and fuels; infrastructure investment and planning; supply chain efficiencies; and energy resource planning.


The document directs that an advisory group of public sector and industry stakeholders be formed to develop specific strategies for achieving its goals.


“Collaboration will be critical to our success,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum stated. “Moving the needle to zero requires all of us — the ports, industry, regulatory agencies, environmental groups and our communities — to pool our energy, expertise and resources.”


Read more about the CAAP, including industry reaction, in the November 7 edition of the Business Journal.