Transportation, clean air leaders from California and multiple states call for federal funding for clean ports in infrastructure package
SACRAMENTO – Transportation and clean air leaders of multiple states – including California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Colombia – urged support of federal funding for clean ports in a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The signatories express support for President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan proposal to invest an additional $17 billion in coastal ports, inland waterways, land ports of entry, and ferries. The states also call out the need to invest in zero-emission infrastructure and equipment at our nation’s seaports in order to build a cleaner, better future and transform the system that moves the nation’s freight, especially as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Communities surrounding ports and freight corridors have long suffered from increased pollution and harmful emissions,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary David S. Kim. “As part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s California Comeback plan, our state is making historic investments to support zero-emission technology at our ports and along freight corridors, and a strong federal partnership will further enhance those efforts. Working together, we can quickly develop a clean and modern port and freight system that strengthens our economy and communities.”
“Communities adjacent to our ports and beside truck-laden highways are among the hardest hit by toxic diesel pollution,” said California Air Resources Board Chair Liane Randolph. “California is investing billions of dollars to accelerate the necessary shift to zero-emission short-haul trucks and cargo-handling equipment, and much cleaner harbor craft. We call on the federal government to join us in this environmental justice challenge with infrastructure investments at our ports and along our trade corridors to support our efforts, and finally clean the air these communities breathe.”
The letter notes that many states, including California, are making major investments in zero-emission freight equipment and infrastructure, and that sustained federal funding will increase the number of states committed to zero-emission transportation. Governor Newsom’s California Comeback Plan supports California’s ambitious efforts to tackle climate change head-on with a $3.9 billion package to accelerate our zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) goals, leading to cleaner air for future generations. This includes more than $1 billion to put 1,000 zero-emission drayage trucks, 1,000 zero-emission school buses and 1,000 transit buses, as well as the necessary infrastructure, on California roads. An additional $925 million will help drive consumer adoption of ZEVs, including funding to expand the Clean Cars 4 All incentive program for lower-income Californians.