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State Agencies Collaborate to Improve Freight’s Economic and Environmental Performance

Integrated plan to improve trade infrastructure and reduce emissions

July 27, 2015

SACRAMENTO—Tuesday, leaders from state government will join the California Freight Advisory Committee at their July meeting, where they will take the first steps towards implementing Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-32-15, which calls for a single, unified Sustainable Freight Strategy for the state.

“Addressing trade’s economic and environmental impacts is key to California’s long term growth,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly. “If we want to effectively protect the environment and simultaneously make the movement by people and of goods easier, while expanding economic competitiveness, we must have one integrated freight strategy. The hard work of developing that plan begins today.”

This new freight strategy will prove essential to meeting California’s air quality and climate goals by evolving the state’s freight system into a more efficient, competitive, and sustainable program.

California’s freight-dependent industries account for more than $700 billion in revenue and more than five million jobs in 2013. Unfortunately, our current freight system also creates a high portion of local toxics and criteria pollutants associated with poor air quality and an increasing contribution of greenhouse gas emissions, all of which impact the health and well-being of Californians and deplete natural resources.

"Freight transportation contributes significantly to poor air quality in California and is a particular burden to disadvantaged communities," said Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. "Developing a sustainable freight strategy that transitions to zero-emission technologies is a key element of our efforts both to improve public health and reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change."

“California must find ways to cut the pollution generated by our network of rail, ports, highways, and airports. The Governor’s executive order will lead to clear efficiency targets and cleaner vehicles and fuels,” said Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird. “The Natural Resources Agency is responsible for guiding California’s adaptation to climate change, and lessening greenhouse gas emissions helps to lessen the threats of increasingly volatile storms, sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and warmer average temperatures.”

The Governor’s Executive Order directs California’s Transportation Agency, Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Agency, and their departments, to work together to create “an integrated action plan by July 2016 that establishes clear targets to improve freight efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies, and increase competitiveness of California’s freight system.”

The meeting is open to the public starting at 10am at Cal/EPA headquarters, and webcast here: http://www.calepa.ca.gov/Broadcast/

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