April 1, 2015

The air quality in Southern California is probably better now than at any time in the last five decades, and a major reason for that is that the large vehicles on our freeways and streets are equipped with 21st century engines and emissions systems.

One of the key findings on the effects of these diesel emissions, a recently released study that addresses some long-standing concerns about air pollution, will be a featured topic for discussion at the 2015 Southern California Logistics and Supply Chain Summit, which will held on April 23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center in Pomona. The segment, “Diesel Emissions: New Facts Clear Up Old Fears,” will be presented by Dr. John Husing, Chief Economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP).

Dr. Husing will discuss the results of a three-year study on diesel emissions from vehicles equipped with currently mandated modern engines and exhaust systems. These updates are part of AB 32, the California law passed some nine years ago, and are now featured in all new large trucks and buses. The study, released in January by the Health Effects Institute, an academic-based research group, found that there is no risk of lung cancer from the exhaust from these updated trucks.

“This was a breakthrough finding from an independent research group, and it could go a long way toward advancing an economic segment that provides a livelihood to hundreds of thousands of Southern Californians,” said Paul Granillo, President and CEO of the IEEP.

The study, which was funded jointly by the California Air Resources Board, the
federal Environmental Protection Agency and other federal regulatory agencies, as well as the engine manufacturers, also found that the newer engines with updated exhaust systems emit less nitrous oxide, nitrous dioxide, other gases and particulate matter – by 90 percent or more.

This is good news for the health of people in this state and elsewhere. It is also a breakthrough moment for Southern California’s goods movement industry, which often has been under attack from environmentalists and others who seek to limit
this key economic sector because of fears that now appear to be based on out-of-date information. As recently as 2012, the World Health Organization classified diesel fumes as “carcinogenic.”

The presentation on the emissions study is one of several morning sessions. Other topics that will be discussed at the summit include developing a modern distribution workforce, technology trends, the use of geographic mapping software and what governments should or should not do to improve the goods movement industry. A finalized schedule of all summit events is expected to be released in about a week.

The luncheon keynote speaker is Randy Lewis, the retired head of all logistics operations for the drug retailer Walgreens who now leads a national movement to increase the hiring of handicapped workers at distribution centers. Additionally, Noel Massie, President of the Southern California District for UPS, will be honored with the Peter Drucker Award for Excellence in Supply Chain and Logistics Management.

The event will bring together experts and professionals in the field from six Southern California counties to discuss the issues that face one of the region’s signature industries. It is planned as a regional forum and is co-hosted by the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and the new Drucker School Center for Supply Chain & Logistics at Claremont Graduate University.

More information, including RSVP registration and sponsorship information, is available on the summit website, http://supplychainsummit2015.com.