State and local officials announced a $10 million matching grant program Thursday aimed at helping shipping companies invest in clean trucks, vehicles and infrastructure to reduce pollution generated by so-called “last-mile” freight movement.
The program is a partnership between the Southern California Association of Governments and the state Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, which allocates funds generated by a $4 surcharge on vehicle license fees. The money is earmarked for programs that reduce emissions from cars, trucks and other vehicles.
Although the funding program was announced Thursday, details on how to apply for the grants are still being finalized and are expected to be announced in the coming months.
“As consumers increasingly move toward electric and other clean technology vehicles, we must prepare our transportation system for zero-emission options,” SCAG Executive Director Kome Ajise said in a statement. “Clean trucks are here and this program will help increase their presence and viability on Southern California roads.”
Officials said the program is particularly important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a marked increase in truck deliveries as people do more shopping from home.
The organizations noted that the such “mobile-goods movement vehicles” and equipment are responsible for more than half of nitrogen oxide emissions in the South Coast Air Basin, and about 11% of PM2.5 emissions that cause smog and air pollution in the region.
“Southern California has long been a leader in greening the region’s transportation infrastructure to improve the air that residents breathe,” MSRC Chair and former SCAG President Larry McCallon said. “We’re excited to be partnering with SCAG to identify and fund critical investments that will accelerate innovation in clean truck technology and infrastructure for the goods movement sector.”
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