Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach delay ‘clean truck’ fees

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | Friday, November 14, 2008

New cargo fees at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach designed to raise money for the replacement of certain motor carrier’s old trucks won’t be collected beginning Monday, Nov. 17, as scheduled.

Officials at the twin ports have decided to wait to collect the fees until a legal dispute involving the Federal Maritime Commission is resolved.

The 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 on Oct. 1, and a phasing in of other older truck engine bans until all trucks are required to meet 2007 emissions standards by 2012.

Each port is requiring most drayage trucks to register and become licensed concessionaires for repeated port entry, and Los Angeles is requiring drivers to be company employees.

“The terminal operators and ports continue to work with the FMC to resolve remaining questions about the program,” said Bruce Wargo, president and CEO of PortCheck. “We hope to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.”

The Federal Maritime Commission recently joined the ATA and some retailers in pursuing a federal injunction of the ports’ concessionaire plan – which requires trucking companies to meet a variety of conditions and pay new registration fees before access.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and the Coalition for Clean Air filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday, Nov. 10, alleging that the maritime commission violated environmental laws during its October attempt to block the Clean Truck Programs at the two ports.

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