California passes clean air bills to reduce emission levels


California has passed a number of bills totalling $895m in funding to tackle air pollution in the US state, with $180m allocated towards the Clean Bus and Truck programme that encourages low-NOx natural gas engines.  

As part of the series of bills, the legislation allocated $250m toward the Carl Moyer programme and another $140m towards incentivising cleaner emissions vehicles at ports.

The ‘California Clean Air Initiative’ bills are intended to help replace harmful diesel engines that are used by heavy-duty trucks and buses. 

California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition president Thomas Lawson said: “This is the largest investment to clean air in our state’s history, and will provide incentives to replace dirty diesel engines with cleaner-burning natural gas engines that will directly result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the reduction of smog-forming pollutants.” 

"This will provide incentives to replace dirty diesel engines with cleaner-burning natural gas engines that will directly result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the reduction of smog-forming pollutants."

According to the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, trucks that move thousands of goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are accountable for 33% of the NOx emissions in the state, and 26% of diesel particulate matter that leads to lung diseases and other respiratory conditions.

The new initiative comes as the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach authorities are scheduled to vote on a clean air action plan (CAAP) in early November.

With the allocated funding, CAAP will be able to design a better plan through the use of incentives to replace diesel burning heavy-duty trucks with new vehicles using low-NOx natural gas engines fuelled by renewable natural gas (RNG).

In addition, the 'Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Now Plan' aims to speed-up the San Pedro Bay Ports’ CAAP by replacing dirty diesel trucks over the next five years.