Federal Maritime Commission eyes LA, Long Beach port truck proposal

| 11/28/2007

The Department of Transportation’s maritime administration met Wednesday, Nov. 28, to consider the recently approved “Clean Truck Program” adopted by the massive twin ports at Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The twin ports, which claim to be the first and second busiest ports in the United States, bring in a collective $325 billion worth of goods annually, but have been blamed for high asthma rates in the region.

The ports recently agreed to ban pre-1989 trucks by October 2008, and pre-2007 truck engines by 2012.

The four-member commission met behind closed doors Wednesday but did not release any information involving a decision, although that could come later, an agency spokesman told Land Line.

“Nothing is going to be available today,” said Mary Angel, who works as project manager for the Federal Maritime Commission.

The Federal Maritime Commission falls under the Department of Transportation and regulates a variety of international shipping processes. The agency has more power to regulate when more than one port adopt identical policies.

OOIDA officials met with the Federal Maritime Commission in October. OOIDA expressed concerns about the ports’ requirement that trucks be on a registered drayage list and have RFID tags. Also, the Association wants long-haul owner operators to be able to have access to the ports without having to go to concessionaires or licensees.

The Association is also against the port’s plan to make all drivers company employee.

Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA’s regulatory affairs specialist, is heading to California next week to meet with officials at the California Air Resources Board and the Port of Los Angeles.

The California Air Resources Board plans to consider a statewide port clean truck program on Dec. 6 that bans engines built manufactured before 1989, requires retrofitting of 1989 through 2003 engines and would require 2007 emissions standards for all trucks by 2014.

– by Charlie Morasch, staff writer