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APM Terminals replaces 16 yard tractors

Port of Los Angeles Terminal Operator Donates Retired Cargo Handling Equipment to LA Unified Occupational Training Programs

With the help of a federal grant secured by the Port of Los Angeles, APM Terminals (APMT) Pier 400 has replaced 16 yards tractors with the cleanest cargo handling equipment available. The container terminal operator also donated 12 of the outgoing yard tractors to auto mechanic training programs in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

“This is a great outcome on all fronts,” said Steven Trombley, Managing Director, APM Terminals, Los Angeles. “We’re running a cleaner terminal and doing our part to improve the air for those who live and work in the harbor area. At the same time, we’re supporting workforce training by providing students the equipment they need to prepare for high-skilled, good-paying jobs in the goods movement industry right here in Southern California.”

APMT invested more than $1.5 million in the project. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contributed more than $500,000 in the form of a Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant. The program supports projects that reduce air pollution by using diesel emission reduction technologies.

As an alternative to destroying the replaced equipment, APMT sought and obtained EPA approval to donate the retired yard tractors to LAUSD diesel mechanic training programs. Normally, DERA grants require outgoing equipment to be permanently disabled.

“This project is a model of sustainability,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.  “We applaud APMT for its foresight, creativity and willingness to invest in green growth and education.”

APMT’s new yard tractors are built with the cleanest available technology compliant with Tier 4 final diesel engine standards established in 2014. LAUSD accepted as many of the retired yard tractors as it could transport, all of which have Tier 3 model engines compliant with 2006 emissions control standards.

The 12 tractors are now at three school sites throughout Los Angeles. Eight went to Harbor Occupational Center in San Pedro, two to Bell High School, and two to Van Nuys High School.

“We were very excited and honored to get this equipment from APM Terminals,” said Principal Sonya Ramirez of Harbor Occupational Center, which specializes in adult education and career technical training. “Until now, our students have largely been working on older equipment. These tractors with Tier 3 engines allow our students to graduate and enter the workforce with the advantage of hands-on experience with the type of equipment they will actually see on the job.”

As part of its ongoing clean air strategies, the Port routinely seeks out environmental grants and incentives to offset the cost of upgrading on-road trucks and off-road terminal equipment, flags opportunities for its tenants and business partners, and assists them in applying for funding. The same DERA grant that helped APMT upgrade its tractors also provided $116,000 to TraPac, which operates a container terminal at Berths 136-147, to defray its cost of repowering two heavy-duty forklifts with Tier 4 engines.

Combined, the two projects are expected to eliminate 322 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 75 tons of particulate matter (PM), 14 tons of hydrocarbons (HC), and 237 tons of carbon monoxide (CO). NOx and HC are components of smog, and PM and CO are toxic contaminants. The total reduction in harmful emissions represents a savings of more than $11.2 million annually in health care costs to the public in Los Angeles County.

Deploying the cleanest available cargo handling equipment furthers the Port’s larger goal under the Clean Air Action Plan of accelerating progress toward a zero emissions future while protecting and strengthening its competitive position in the global economy. Improving the quality of life in neighboring communities disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and assisting the region in attaining federal clean air standards are key objectives.

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