Santa Monica, CA (February 2006): Over 600 attendees participated in more than 100 educational sessions on a variety of topics focused on industry sectors including Marine, Rail, Trucking, Off-Road and Infrastructure at Faster Freight - Cleaner Air 2006 (FFCA), far surpassing the expected number of 400 attendees. Publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, and the Long Beach Press Telegram covered the event, and the associated press conferences.
Included in the attendees were port representatives, government agencies, terminal operators, shipping and trucking companies, utilities, unions, non-profit organizations, community groups, municipalities, equipment manufacturers, professors and students, members of the press and more.
The major press conference held in conjunction with FFCA was between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The press conference was called to announce a groundbreaking campaign to reduce pollution in seaports from Seattle to San Diego. "This is the most significant step in this discussion probably in the past five years," said Wally Baker, a senior vice president at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., who has been studying how port pollution affects the economy. "There couldn't be a better gift that [the union] could give to Southern California at this time than reducing diesel pollution and making a difference in this environment."
Topics covered varied from "Natural Gas Opportunities for Ports" to "Achieving Balance Between Goods Movement and Healthy Communities." One of the key goals for this year's FFCA was to showcase solutions and resources to improve operations and reduce air emissions from the goods movement industry while creating healthy communities. The tradeshow component of the conference featured 35 exhibits and several electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles, natural gas fueling pumps, a large tractor trailer pulling a marine container, and other exciting technology displays. The other key aim of the event was to offer numerous networking opportunities to share ideas and best practices with colleagues and peers.
Highlighted speakers included two visits from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, an official conference welcome by Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill, addresses by California Senator Alan Lowenthal and CalEPA Secretary Alan Lloyd, and a talk by Paul Roberts, the lauded author of The End of Oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board, Southern California Association of Governments, and the Port of Los Angeles were proud to host the event and have already started planning for FFCA 2007 in Long Beach. There are also plans to continue the dialogue from FFCA in each section of the U.S. EPA's West Coast Collaborative.
FFCA 2006 was also part of the highly publicized Freight Week, a week devoted to exploring the complexity of the goods movement industry, its impact on communities, and solutions to reduce congestion and improve air quality in metropolitan areas. The National Urban Freight Conference immediately followed FFCA at a nearby venue in Long Beach, California. For more information about FFCA 2006, please visit www.ffca2006.com.