As state lawmakers prepare to head back to the California statehouse Aug. 7 for their final push to approve bills before the regular
session ends late next month, several efforts to alter operations at the
state’s seaports are awaiting consideration.
And while the legislation focuses on seaports, including the
massive Los Angeles-Long Beach complex, it could affect the livelihoods of
thousands of truckers who haul cargo containers in and out of the ports that
dot the California coastline.
A pair of bills offered by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, seeks to park certain large trucks, limit port growth and speed up “turn
times.” The measures have advanced from the Senate to the Assembly.
The first bill, SB764, would require the Ports of Los
Angeles and Long Beach to reduce the amount of pollution produced. The twin
ports complex would be required to reduce emissions 30 percent below the level
of emissions produced in 2001. The ports would be required to meet the roll
back on emissions by 2010.
Another bill, SB1829 would require marine terminals to
operate in such a manner that doesn’t cause trucks to wait – and idle – for
more than 30 minutes outside terminal gates. Once inside, it also would
prohibit making truckers wait more than 30 minutes for a single transaction.
Unloading and loading would have to be completed in 60 minutes.
Marine terminals found to be in violation, would face a $250
fine, per occurrence. Any attempt by owners or operators of terminals to avoid
or circumvent these requirements would result in a $750 fine.
Lowenthal, chairman of the Committee on Environmental
Quality, said the port bills “promote air quality” and set clearly defined
goals and incentives to achieve them.
The Long Beach lawmaker is not alone in his efforts. Other
state lawmakers have offered measures targeting various aspects of port
SB1213, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove, would
extend to port owner-operators the right to organize and to collectively
negotiate with port motor carriers regarding such matters as compensation and
It also would extend to those drivers key benefits that many
employees in the state have, such as the ability to withhold their services on
a collective basis – in essence, the right to legally strike – and to be free
from any coercion by port motor carriers regarding those rights.
Owner-operators would have an anti-trust exemption.
AB1101, sponsored by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson,
would require local air districts to develop diesel reduction measures and
plans to reduce emissions. Areas affected would include airports, seaports and
Both bills have advanced out of their originating chamber
and are under further consideration in the other house.
All legislation must be approved by both chambers prior to
the end of the regular session, which is scheduled for Aug. 31.
– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor