Calif. Air Resources Board to Vote on Truck Retrofit Funding
--- California Air Resources Board staff members are proposing that $25 million in Proposition 1B Bond funding go to diesel emission reduction projects for the South Coast, Central Valley, San Francisco and San Diego air districts, mostly for truck retrofit and replacements. These recommendations will be before the entire board for approval at a Jan. 24 hearing in Sacramento. Proposition 1B was the transportation bond put on the ballot by the state Legislature and placed before voters in November 2006. The 2007-08 Budget, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in August, funds the initial $250 million of the $1 billion set aside for air quality improvement projects in Proposition 1B. ARB also announced that it plans to allocate more than 75 percent of the overall $1 billion in Bond 1B funding to be used toward reducing diesel pollution from trucks associated with goods movement around the state. The remaining 24 percent of funding, $240 million, will be earmarked for diesel emission reductions from ships, harbor craft and locomotives. "This strategy puts the lion's share of the dollars where they're needed most: on trucks traveling from the state's ports and along our major transportation corridors," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Within months of passing a new regulation aimed at cleaning up port trucks we are following through with much-needed funding to help drivers retrofit and replace older, dirty engines."If approved by the board at its Jan. 24 hearing in Sacramento, ARB staff will begin allocating the funds immediately to the air districts.ARB staff is basing its proposed distribution of funds to specific air district projects using three criteria: population, the contribution of emissions from goods movement sources, and the need for new emission reductions to meet federal health standards. Staff also leaned heavily toward projects that would have benefits statewide. As a result, trucks traveling from the Los Angeles ports to the Inland Empire, highways 5 and 99 in the Central Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Diego border region will achieve emission benefits far beyond their home of origin.