California grants record sum for ports’ zero-emission future

The State of California has granted more than $1.5 billion – including approximately $450 million for zero-emission infrastructure, locomotives, vessels and vehicles – as part of the state’s work to build a more efficient, sustainable and resilient supply chain.

Credit: Port of Long Beach

As disclosed, the $1.2 billion will fund 15 projects creating an estimated 20,000 jobs and increase the capacity to move goods throughout the state’s global trade gateways while lessening environmental impacts on neighboGavring communities.

Administered by the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), $350 million was also awarded to 13 projects that eliminate street-level rail crossings to make critical lifesaving safety improvements, reduce emissions and keep goods and people moving.

“These investments – unprecedented in scope and scale – will modernize our ports, reduce pollution, eliminate bottlenecks and create a more dynamic distribution network,” Governor Gavin Newsom commented.

“CalSTA’s ‘Core Four’ priorities are safety, climate action, equity and economic prosperity, and the strategic investments announced today shine in all those areas,” said Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin.

According to the officials, the projects receiving funding will help boost capacity to move goods through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as enhance all major trade centers throughout the state – from San Diego to the Central Valley to the Bay Area. 

Specifically, the Port of Los Angeles has been awarded $233 million in grants for infrastructure projects.

“This nearly quarter-billion-dollar investment in critical Port of Los Angeles projects –– along with an additional $191 million in supporting regional projects –– will accelerate our efforts to boost competitiveness, create jobs and enhance decarbonization efforts,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

Meanwhile, the Port of Long Beach received a $383.35 million grant to complete a series of construction and clean-air technology projects aimed at accelerating the transformation to zero-emissions operations and enhancing the reliability and efficiency of cargo movement.

As part of the state’s Port and Freight Infrastructure Program, nearly $225 million will fund a variety of zero-emissions cargo-moving equipment and supportive infrastructure projects across the Port of Long Beach, and include “top handlers” and other manually operated cargo-handling equipment, as well as tugboats and locomotives.

The sum is the single largest grant the port has ever received to support the zero-emissions goals of the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan Update, according to the officials.

“This game-changing grant will make a tremendous difference in our efforts to bring more business and jobs to the harbor, enhance the efficiency of cargo movement and accelerate the Port of Long Beach’s ongoing transformation to zero-emission operations,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero

As part of its Clean Air Action Plan, or CAAP, the Port of Long Beach has set a goal of zero-emissions terminal operations by 2030, and zero-emissions trucking by 2035. 

The program’s goal is to improve the capacity, safety, efficiency and resilience of goods movement through California’s seaports, while also enhancing air quality.