A law in California
that fines port terminals for making truckers sit and idle is a step closer
to being expanded to include fines for port operators.
The Assembly Transportation
Committee has voted 14-0 in favor of AB1971, introduced by Assemblyman
Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach.
The bill, AB1971, would
modify AB2650, which was signed into law by the governor in September 2002.
That law requires every marine terminal in California to operate in a way
that keeps trucks from idling any more than 30 minutes while waiting to
load or unload.
Under AB2650, marine
terminal operators who try to divert trucks to freeways or staging areas
away from the ports to avoid the law face an additional fine. And the new
law also prohibits the terminals from passing the cost of the fines on
to truck owners and operators. Terminal operators could face a $250 fine
for every truck left idling more than 30 minutes; if the terminal diverts
the idling trucks, that fine expands to $750.
The law also requires
each state air quality district to determine the level of monitoring and
enforcement necessary based on the truck idling problem that exists within
Under AB1971, those
fines would expand to include terminals that make truckers “queue,” or
wait in line. It would also expand the duties of air-quality districts
to cover queuing trucks as well as idling ones. Lowenthal also sponsored
the original law, AB2650.
now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.