Port of Los Angeles budget includes $47M for Clean Truck Program

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The Los Angeles Harbor Commission on Thursday, June 4, adopted a budget of $1.1 billion for the Port of Los Angeles’ fiscal year 2009-10. A 1.8-percent decrease over the current fiscal year budget, the port says its budget for the year ahead beginning July 1 will enable it to advance capital improvement projects, security enhancements and environmental initiatives, including the Clean Truck Program (CTP).

“Our approved budget reflects the harsh realities of the global economic recession and the financial challenges facing the Port of Los Angeles and our tenants,” says Geraldine Knatz, the port’s executive director. “With container volumes expected to fall again in the next fiscal year, we are continuing to advance projects that will produce economic and environmental benefits while preparing us for the eventual economic recovery and the return of higher trade volumes.”

The port’s environmental initiatives will receive $62.7 million, three-quarters of which — about $47 million — will fund the continued implementation of the CTP.

Responding to a federal appeals court ruling strongly supporting the trucking industry, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder issued a ruling in late April enjoining several key provisions of the CTP concession plans imposed by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Even so, the American Trucking Associations is appealing the district court’s acceptance of a broad motor vehicle safety exception and certain other aspects.

On March 20, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sent ATA’s challenge back to the district court for reconsideration, citing numerous problems with the ports’ concession agreements. In response, Judge Snyder blocked various elements of the concessions, including:

  • The employee mandate of the Los Angeles plan that banned owner-operators from the port;
  • The driver hiring preferences of both plans;
  • The motor carrier financial capability requirements of both plans;
  • The driver health insurance mandate of the Long Beach plan;
  • The designated routes and parking restrictions of both plans;
  • The contractual tie-in of the clean truck tariffs mandated by both plans; and
  • The concession fees of both plans.