Long Beach port approves participation in clean truck grant program

November 27, 2018. The Port of Long Beach’s Board of Harbor Commissioners officially approved the port’s participation in a joint grant program that aims to take older, more polluting trucks off the road by giving drivers grants to buy newer, less-polluting rigs.

   The Port of Long Beach will partner with the Port of Los Angeles and South Coast Air Quality Management District on the program, which will give dozens of truck drivers up to $100,000 each to buy newer, less-polluting rigs.

   Under what’s being called the Early Adopter Truck Incentive Program, the ports and SCAQMD are each providing $2 million for the program, supplementing an $8 million grant from the California Energy Commission. The AQMD’s governing board approved the program during an October meeting, and the Port of Los Angeles’ Board of Harbor Commissioners did the same on Nov. 15.

   The $14 million total is earmarked by the ports to give to goods-hauling drivers $100,000 in grant funding to help pay for new lower emission, natural gas-powered trucks. The average cost of the new, low-emissions trucks is $200,000; grant recipients would be responsible for obtaining the funds to pay the balance of the trucks’ cost.

   “There’s a lot of truckers that would like to deploy low-(nitrogen oxide) near-zero trucks, there just isn’t enough grant money to get to them all; this will help,” Greg Roche, vice president of vehicular natural gas provider Clean Energy Fuels, told the Harbor Commission during Monday’s meeting. “The sooner we get these trucks on the road, the sooner we start reducing air pollution and climate change.”