Port of L.A. adopts truck restriction; Long Beach to meet Monday

| 11/2/2007

The Port of Los Angeles leaped ahead of the Port of Long Beach this week in the race to ban older trucks – at least temporarily.

The Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commission adopted a port plan that would begin in October 2008 by banning trucks with engines manufactured before 1989. Trucks with model year engines from 1989 through 2003 would have to be retrofitted with devices that catch 85 percent of diesel particulate matter and 25 percent of nitrogen oxides. All trucks at the ports would have to meet 2007 emissions standards by 2012.

The Port of Long Beach – which decided to postpone the adoption of a similar plan last week – is scheduled to consider approving a plan that mirrors the Port of Los Angeles port truck plan at a commission meeting at 2 p.m. Monday.

Port of Los Angeles officials still plan to move forward with plans to create a concessionaire-based system to limit access to the ports. One previous draft the port officials considered included a Teamsters-backed plan that would limit concessionaires to companies with employee drivers, and would award concessionaire licenses first to applicants with large numbers of employees and more financial assets.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said she plans to bring “elements” of the concessionaire plan before the commission at a Dec. 14 meeting.

“We’re between a rock and a hard place,” Knatz was quoted in the Times. “Not everyone is going to be happy but we have to move forward.”

The California Air Resources Board is considering its own port truck plan, and would essentially ban older trucks as does the Port of Los Angeles plan, although 2007 emissions level engines wouldn’t be required until 2014.

CARB officials have said any clean truck plan coming from the ports must be at least as restrictive as the statewide plan.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer