For the first time in our history, real options exists to replace heavy duty trucks. Near-zero emissions options are available today and zero emission options are on the way. Technology is no longer the issue.

For the first time in history, we can change the fact that these trucks are only 2% of the vehicles on the road yet emit 50% of the cancer-causing diesel particulate matter and ozone on California’s roads.

For the first time in history, we can reverse the incredible rates of asthma and lung cancer in Port communities.

For the first time in history, we can begin to save precious resources by replacing vehicles that consume one-quarter of all the fuel we use!

For the first time in history, we can begin to lower the 23% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the US caused by medium and heavy-duty trucks.

It won’t be easy. But it will be necessary. It will be necessary for every child who is in the emergency room because of an asthma attack. It will be necessary for the residents of wildfire areas, which climate change has helped make more intense than ever. And it will be necessary for you and me to live in a more sustainable, just world.

A Simple Solution To Save Lives

The California Smog Check program removes 400 tons of pollution from the air each day. This doesn’t even count the countless older-model vehicles the program has helped retire. When it comes to fighting air pollution, few programs can match the success of smog check.

You might be surprised that heavy-duty trucks, which are responsible for over half the dangerous pollutants coming out of tailpipes, are exempt from this program. Poor performing, gas-guzzling, asthma-inducing trucks get a pass while we all participate.

Does this make any sense to you? It doesn’t to us, which is why you can expect some major movement in this area in 2018.

The Coalition for Clean Air advocates for effective and integrated freight transportation policy solutions that support zero emission technology where feasible and near-zero emission technology using low-carbon fuels everywhere else. Freight accounts for 25% of the transport emissions in the State of California and needs to be addressed if we are to create real, lasting change.

The Coalition for Clean Air wants to see more incentive funding for cleaner technologies, the adoption of sustainable freight strategies at the local, regional, state & national levels, the adoption of clean truck programs at our ports, and strong policies to mitigate the impacts from dirty freight on local communities. We seek effective & integrated policies. If our agencies can coordinate full-scale infrastructure & deployment of a zero emission or near-zero emission freight transportation system in California by 2050, we will reduce statewide cancer causing emissions by a magnitude never seen before*.

SUSTAINABLE FREIGHT: California Cleaner Freight Coalition

Freight transportation is the single largest contributor to diesel particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions in California, and it disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. They suffer from higher rates of asthma, cancer and other illnesses. In 2012, CCA brought together a coalition of environmental justice, public health, science and mainstream environmental organizations for the purpose of creating transformational changes to the freight transportation system in California. This group is the California Cleaner Freight Coalition (CCFC). CCFC convinced the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to establish its Sustainable Freight Initiative. CCFC also published Moving California Forward, a technical report on greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions reduction opportunities from the freight sector. CCFC continues to work with the ARB and CalTrans to adopt far-reaching freight policies. CCFC is funded with grants from the Hewlett Foundation.

* We’ll reduce: NOX by 50%; PM by 85%; GHGs by 80% in the freight sector

Further Reading:

Support Funding for Successful Low Carbon Transportation Programs

CCA Position on Heavy Duty Vehicles

CCFC Comments on CSFAP

CCFC Vision for a Sustainable Freight System in California

Governor Brown Executive Order on Freight

Moving California Forward: Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Pathways

Moving California Forward: Technical Report

Moving California Forward: Technical Appendix

Sustainable Freight: Pathways to Zero and Near-Zero Emissions

Engines for Change: How New Truck Standards Can Improve the Way America Ships Goods

Blog posts & comment letters