New regs for Ports of L.A., Long Beach may come from CARB

| 10/18/2007

Commissions for the twin ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach have delayed a controversial plan that would restrict most trucks from entering.

That’s not stopping the California Air Resources Board.

The nation’s most aggressive attacker of emissions is moving ahead with a proposed plan to force retrofits of most trucks to meet new diesel particulate matter standards. CARB is hosting an informational workshop on its port drayage truck owner requirements on Oct. 30 and will formally consider the regulations during its Dec. 6-7 board meeting.

By January of 2010, CARB’s proposed plan would ban all trucks with pre-1994 engines and older from entering ports or railyards, and would require retrofitting of engines manufactured between 1994 and 2002.

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have had joint commission meetings to discuss adopting the proposed Clean Trucks Program that would ban all trucks that weren’t registered concessionaires from the ports. The program would require all truck drivers at the port to be employees of concessionaires, which would be limited by an application process that would favor trucking companies with the largest amount of financial assets, among other considerations.

OOIDA is sending a team of representatives to the Port of Los Angeles for CARB’s Oct. 30 workshop to discuss the proposed regulation.

Attending will be Joe Rajkovacz, the association’s regulatory affairs specialist, who said that CARB’s proposed port rule language may affect more truckers than the agency intends. Trucks with 1993 engines that meet every other California emission regulation could be prevented from picking up even an occasional load at any port or railyard in the state, and trucks with engines from 1993 to 2004 would need retrofits, some of which wouldn’t otherwise be required.

“This is not a good thing for our members who would go into the ports,” Rajkovacz told Land Line.

On top of the emissions requirements, CARBs’ plan includes millions for truck replacements or retrofits to be distributed among California-based truck owners and companies.

“They’re offering up all sorts of financial inducements for their local in-state trucks to be able to comply with these regulations – and our small-business folks from around the country would have to comply with the same regulation without any sort of assistance whatsoever,” Rajkovacz said. “It’s not exactly a level playing field.”

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer