Clean Air Trucks for the Big Dig

January 31, 2018 — The Arroyo Seco Foundation and Pasadena Audubon have now joined with the Coalition for Clean Air to advocate for the use of Clean Air Trucks for the Devil's Gate Sediment Removal Project. As a responsible public agency, the Los Angeles County Flood Control District should be a leader in adopting clean air technology in a region with some of the the worst air quality in the United States.

Clean Air Trucks are Available; Incentives Make Them Feasible

  • Los Angeles County Flood Control District is proposing to use Model-2010 Diesel trucks to haul vegetation and sediment from Hahamongna Watershed Park.
  • Hahamongna Watershed Park is located adjacent to residential areas and 10 schools are located within one-half mile, including Crestview Preparatory, Franklin Elementary, Hillside School and Learning Center, Jackson Elementary, La Cañada High School (includes La Cañada Junior High School), Child Education Center, Nanny's Nursery, Odyssey Charter, and Woodbury Preschool Village. Muir High School is also just southeast of the Hahamongna area.
  • The Project will involve 7,650 cubic yards of sediment per day, 50 truck trips per hour and a maximum of 425 truck round trips per day and more than 100,000 truckloads over the course of the project.
  • Recent studies conducted between 2013 and 2017 by CE-CERT, a research institute based at UC Riverside, found that model year 2010 Diesel trucks emit NOx at levels that are 5 to 18 times higher than the levels assumed in the EPA Certification when idling, operating in slow traffic or climbing out of steep basins.
  • Similarly, the Flood Control District has underestimated the Project's other air pollutant emissions, including diesel particulate matter, exposure to which has been linked to severe respiratory disease, lung damage, cancer, and premature death.
  • Requiring the use of renewable natural gas trucks, such as trucks utilizing the Cummins-Westport 12 Liter Near Zero Engine, would dramatically reduce the Project's air quality emissions and greenhouse gas emissions and make the County Flood Control District an environmental leader. These trucks are designed for the type of heavy-duty use involved in the Devil's Gate project.
  • While these engines are more expensive than previous diesel models, there are substantial incentives available from California and regional agencies that dramatically reduce their cost.
  • The Supervisors' motion to reduce the size of the Devil's Gate project by 30% will result in substantial financial savings that can be used to reduce negative air quality impacts to local schools and residents.
  • It is clear that clean air technology is available and that these incentives make the cost feasible.
  • The request for proposals for an operator to remove the sediment from the Hahamongna basin should mandate the use of these Near Zero Engines to protect public health. At the very least the RFP should express a preference for their use.
  • We urge the County Supervisors to contact AQMD officials to verify the benefits and feasibility of these Clean Air trucks.

Near Zero Emission Trucks Are Available and Affordable!