THE ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will ban trucks made in 1993 and earlier from entering their container terminals effective from January 1 under their Clean Truck Programmes.
But trucks that do not meet the deadline will be given four months to work at the port, "but only if the owner is awaiting a new truck through a port or state financing programme," said Long Beach Harbour Commissioners president Nick Sramek.
Also from this date the ports will ban trucks made between 1994 and 2003 that have not been retrofitted to reduce the emission of pollutants in their respective port areas and neighbouring communities.
Long Beach port authorities say the ban is a "major milestone in the continuing transformation of the harbour trucking fleet to improve air quality".
Since Long Beach started the programme on October 1, 2008, 5,600 trucks made in 1988 and before have been replaced by "newer, safer and cleaner" models. An additional 2,400 new trucks are on order and will soon be put into service, a port authority statement said.
The port authorities anticipate that by January next year nearly 90 per cent of all trucks calling at the Port of Long Beach will meet "tough" 2007 federal emission standards.
"Little more than a year ago, the ports looked like a graveyard where old dirty trucks came to die," said Mr Nick Sramek. "This New Year`s Day, we`ll celebrate a Port of Long Beach Clean Trucks Programme that has accomplished a great deal in an extremely short time, bringing us the newest clean truck technology and an impressive clean air benefit for the community.
"By January 1, the programme will have achieved nearly an 80 per cent reduction in trucking air pollution - two years ahead of schedule," he said.
The next target will January 1, 2012, when only trucks made in or after 2007 will be allowed.