Mayors Call for Less Pollution, Cleaner Trucks in Southern California
The mayors of five cities near polluted freeway corridors in Southern California are calling for cleaner heavy duty trucks. South Gate Mayor Jorge Morales, Commerce Mayor Lilia Leon, Maywood Mayor Eddie De La Riva, Bell Mayor Ali Saleh, and Compton Mayor Aja Brown were joined by representatives from the California Energy Commission (CEC), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) to explain how new natural gas engine technology can clean the air near and around their cities.
They were also joined by representatives from Cummins Westport, the maker of the ISL G NZ 8.9L engine that has recently been certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as 90 percent cleaner than traditional engines—the first “near zero” transportation technology ready to roll in the heavy duty sector. The engine development funding came from the SCAQMD, CEC and SoCalGas.
Studies have shown that corridors such as the 710 freeway have some of the worst air quality in the nation, which is caused by the region’s smog forming (or NOx) emissions that come from the heavy duty transportation sector. Those most likely impacted are disadvantaged communities near or around major transportation corridors and ports. Studies also indicate that air pollution contributes to asthma, cancer and premature death, especially in children and the elderly.
“The City of Compton sits between multiple freeways and my constituents are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of poor air quality,” said Compton Mayor Aja Brown. “Today, we have an opportunity to deploy more clean trucks to greatly improve the quality of life for families and children in our cities.”
At the event, Waste Management also displayed one of its refuse trucks in its fleet of more than 4,500 natural gas trucks operating in North America with a Cummins Westport engine. The Waste Management trucks on the road today have nearly zero particulate emissions, cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 20 percent, and are far quieter than their diesel counterparts.
“The Energy Commission is pleased to be part of the public-private partnership that helped develop this new engine and looks forward to the expansion of this technology to other engine sizes and vehicle applications,” said Janea A. Scott, CEC Commissioner. “When combined with renewable natural gas, vehicles utilizing the advanced low NOx engine have the potential to come very close to being zero emission vehicles.”