Port of Seattle considers L.A.-style plan for trucks

| 11/13/2008

The Port of Seattle is considering a clean truck plan that could end up looking a lot like the ones at the ports in California – but the Port Commission is doing its planning behind closed doors.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that was the complaint at a recent Commission meeting at which some of the big trucking companies were represented, but owner-operators were not.

The port of Seattle is currently planning to require that by 2015, 80 percent of the trucks doing business at the port would have to meet 2007 emissions standards. And two years later, 100 percent of the trucks would have to meet those standards.

The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach each have approved similar versions of a Clean Trucks Program, including bans on pre-1989 trucks that took effect Oct. 1, and a phasing in of other older truck engine bans until all trucks are required to meet 2007 emissions standards by 2012.

The Los Angeles-area ports are requiring most drayage trucks to register and become licensed concessionaires for repeated port entry, with the Los Angeles port concession status requiring registration fees of at least $2,600 and a phasing out of owner-operators. The ports also have begun doling out $2.2 billion for a truck replacement program, in which certain port-approved carriers can receive 50 percent and 80 percent of the cost of a 2007 emissions-compliant truck.

The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have installed a day-pass system to allow long haulers to have some access to ports.

OOIDA Regulatory Affairs Specialist Joe Rajkovacz said the Association isn’t surprised that other ports have considered emissions plans similar to ones adopted by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

“We’ve said all along the process that’s unfolding in LA long beach is going to work its way up the coast. It is called the West Coast model for a reason,” Rajkovacz said. “If air quality improvements are the real goal, let’s have a single standard that everybody must meet on their own dime. That will create the systemic economic changes in port drayage, which are necessary to pay for the compliance costs. Multibillion-dollar bailouts and subsidies pervert the marketplace, and the only winners are those with their hands out for public money.”

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer

Reed Black of Land Line Now contributed to this report