DATE: January 28, 2015
TO: Air Pollution Control Board
SUBJECT: “CLEAN TAXIS” – SUPPORT FOR IMPROVING AIR QUALITY AT THE SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (DISTRICTS: ALL)
Motor vehicles are the largest source of air pollution in San Diego County. Reducing vehicular emissions is vital for the region to meet Federal and State clean air standards. This is particularly true of taxicabs, which often log more than 100,000 miles per year and consequently emit more air pollution than their private vehicle counterparts. The San Diego International Airport (Airport) is a key location for taxicabs and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has led efforts to reduce taxicab-related air pollution by establishing lower airport permit and trip fees for hybrid electric taxicabs, which combine a fuel-efficient engine with an electric motor to improve fuel economy and reduce air emissions.
To date, the Airport Authority's reduced fees for hybrid electric taxicabs have not resulted in the conversion of the entire Airport taxicab fleet to hybrid electric vehicles. There are still many older, inefficient gasoline-powered vehicles with poor fuel economy and high emissions operating at the Airport. Serving the Airport’s passengers with an entire fleet of fuel-efficient, low-emission taxicabs would not only improve our air quality, but also serve as a highly visible example of the region’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practices.
Today’s proposed action directs the Air Pollution Control Officer to develop and implement a pilot program to provide financial incentives for taxicab owners at the Airport to retire their remaining conventional taxicabs and replace them with new, low-emitting hybrid electric or alternative fuel vehicles.
SUPERVISOR GREG COX
1. Find that it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility the proposed action may have a significant adverse effect on the environment, and that this action is exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15061(b)(3).
2. Direct the Air Pollution Control Officer to develop and implement a pilot taxicab incentive program to encourage existing gasoline-fueled taxicabs serving the San Diego International Airport to purchase new low-emitting hybrid electric or alternative fuel vehicles.
3. Establish appropriations of $360,000 in the Air Pollution Control District Air Quality Improvement Trust Fund, Operating Transfer Out, for incentive grants to reduce air pollution from existing gasoline-fueled taxicabs serving the San Diego International Airport, based on prior year Air Pollution Control District Air Quality Improvement Trust Fund fund balance available. (4 VOTES)
4. Establish appropriations of $360,000 in the Air Pollution Control District Operational Fund, Services and Supplies, based on an Operating Transfer In, from the Air Pollution Control District Air Quality Improvement Trust Fund. (4 VOTES)
5. Direct the Air Pollution Control Officer to report back to the Air Pollution Control Board within 120 days of pilot program completion on the results of the program.
Funds for this request are not included in the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Operational Plan for the Air Pollution Control District. If approved, this request will result in costs and revenue of $360,000 in Fiscal Year 2014-15. The funding source is prior year Air Pollution Control Air Quality Improvement Trust Fund fund balance. There will be no change in net General Fund costs and no additional staff years.
Business Impact Statement
Taxicab business owners who may be awarded funding under an incentive program will benefit by receiving new, cleaner vehicles at a reduced cost. Additionally, by upgrading to more fuel-efficient vehicles, these businesses will reduce their fuel use costs.
Advisory Board Statement
Taxicabs are an important mode of transportation in San Diego County, serving our residents, tourists, convention participants, and business travelers daily. The San Diego International Airport (Airport) specifically relies on taxicabs to help serve the needs of airline passengers commuting to and from Downtown San Diego. Previous efforts undertaken by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to “green” the taxicab fleet resulted in the conversion of much of the Airport taxicab fleet to hybrid electric vehicles. The County now aims to build upon these efforts and obtain significant vehicle emission reduction in the process.
Air quality in the region will be improved by the retirement of inefficient conventional fuel taxicabs. By replacing all remaining conventional fuel vehicles, levels of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide attributable to taxicabs are anticipated to be reduced between 3 to 5 tons annually. Both pollutants contribute to the formation of ozone, which poses a significant health risk to highly sensitive populations such as children with asthma or the elderly. The pollution reduction will also aid the County toward meeting Federal and State clean air standards.
A rebate incentive offsets the high upfront cost of a cleaner, more efficient vehicle, as well as helping owners save on ongoing fuel costs. If approved, the Air Pollution Control Officer will work with the Airport Authority and taxicab owners/operators to develop and implement a pilot incentive program designed for taxicabs with permits to operate at the Airport. If approved, the Air Pollution Control Officer will report back to the Board within 120 days of pilot program completion on the results of the pilot program.
Pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines, CEQA applies only to projects that have the potential for causing a significant adverse effect on the environment. Since this program improves air quality and the environment, it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility the proposed action may have a significant adverse effect on the environment and thus it is exempt from CEQA.
Linkage to the County of San Diego Strategic Plan
Today’s proposed actions support the Sustainable Environments Initiative in the County of San Diego’s 2014 – 2019 Strategic Plan with an objective to support environments that foster viable, livable communities while bolstering economic growth. Providing grant funding for emission reduction projects will reduce harmful air emissions resulting in improved regional air quality at lower costs to businesses.
Supervisor, First District
AGENDA ITEM INFORMATION SHEET
REQUIRES FOUR VOTES: [X] Yes [ ] No
WRITTEN DISCLOSURE PER COUNTY CHARTER SECTION 1000.1 REQUIRED
[ ] Yes [ ] No
PREVIOUS RELEVANT BOARD ACTIONS:
BOARD POLICIES APPLICABLE:
BOARD POLICY STATEMENTS:
ORACLE AWARD NUMBER(S) AND CONTRACT AND/OR REQUISITION NUMBER(S):
ORIGINATING DEPARTMENT: District 1, Board of Supervisors
OTHER CONCURRENCES(S): N/A
Gregory R. Murphy