Tuesday, July 28, 2009

$22 Million Is Not Enough to Clean-Up 1,000 Trucks at the Port

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 5:21 AM

The Port of Oakland, along with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, will announce a $22 million program today to clean-up 1,000 diesel-spewing trucks in West Oakland, according to the Chron. It's welcome news, but the newspaper's numbers don't appear to add up. The Chron reports that the program will pay to retrofit about 800 big rigs, and replace 200 others. But new trucks cost at least $100,000 each, so buying 200 of them will suck up nearly all of the $22 million. Plus, the retrofits are estimated to cost up to $20,000 per truck. In other words, the program would need much more than $22 million to accomplish what the paper claims.

The paper also reports that officials say the program will slash emissions by about 85 percent. But that figure also seems dubious, since there are about 3,000 trucks operating at the port, and the program is designed to deal with just 1,000 of them — if that. And finally, we have one other beef with the report. It should have noted that Margaret Gordon, who is featured in the lead of the story, is a vice president of the Oakland Port Commission and it's in her interest to promote the announcement of the program today.

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