Truckers picking up at
ports may have to make appointments. Legislation aimed at pushing
semis faster through the Port of Los Angeles to improve air quality
got a second chance Thursday. Now, a possible compromise is being
worked out that could send the bill to the governor's desk.
AB2650 has been bouncing
from committee to committee since the first of the year. Under
the original bill, by Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal (D-San Pedro),
truckers would have had to reach the outside gate of a terminal
within 30 minutes of getting in line. If they exceeded the time
limit, terminal operators could be fined up to $250.
The bill also made it a
misdemeanor for the owner or operator of a terminal to pass that
fine on to an owner-operator. If the owner of a terminal sends
an owner-operator to a staging area outside the terminal, they
would be subject to a $750 fine. Exemptions would be granted for
terminals that stay open during non-peak hours. The measure was
endorsed by the California Trucking Association and the International
Longshore and Warehouse Union, but strongly opposed by port management.
On Wednesday, a compromise
was reached that sets up an appointment system. Terminals also
won concessions that would mean no fines if an appointment system
is in place and delays are unavoidable. According to Stephanie
Williams with the California Trucking Association, the law would
call for the new system to be in place by July 2003. Some terminals
are expected to start the appointment system by the end of this
year, she said.
AB2650 was passed as amended
and sent to the Committee on Appropriations.