On Thursday, California’s Air Resources Board will discuss actions it can take to reduce air pollution from the movement of goods. ARB staff will present their Discussion Draft, “Sustainable Freight: Pathways to Zero and Near-Zero Emissions,” and Board Members will instruct staff on how to move forward. Exhaust from trucks, trains, ships and other goods-movement equipment pollutes our air, changes the climate, and costs California billions in avoidable health costs. Four in ten Californians live close enough to a freeway or busy road that they are at increased risk of asthma and other health hazards. Transforming the freight sector is critical to achieving California’s healthy air standards and greenhouse gas reduction targets.
We’re pleased that ARB staff have responded to the instructions of Board Members, last December, to move ahead right away with measures to reduce emissions from the freight system. The document demonstrates an intention to take actions immediately to reduce local health risks through better enforcement and incentives for advanced technologies. We also support the near-term measures to use both regulations and incentives to reduce emissions from goods movement. We are disappointed that a truly transformational freight strategy has been delayed yet again (to next year), though we agree with ARB that that broader effort requires an integrated approach with CalTrans and other relevant agencies.
We urge Governor Brown, as he updates the 2013 Zero-Emission Vehicle Action Plan, to make clear that he is making sustainable freight a high priority for his entire administration.