L.A. port wants to adjust concession schedule

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L a Port

The Port of Los Angeles announced that later this month, its staff will recommend to the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners an adjusted schedule or implementation of certain provisions of the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program concession agreement that previously were enjoined by the federal court.

Port staff will recommend approval of an adjustment of the dates for licensed motor carrier compliance with the employee driver requirement, job referral services requirement and the off-street parking requirement in order to provide time to develop compliance systems and provide LMCs ample time to begin compliance.

The port says this action is necessary because the judgment entered by Judge Christina Snyder may put the majority of the port’s concessionaires out of compliance with their concession agreements. These recommendations likely will be presented at the board’s next meeting at 1 p.m. PT on Monday, Sept. 27, and would take effect only upon board approval.

“Now that we have won the case, the port would like to implement the full concession as soon as it is reasonably practicable, but adjust the schedule to allow both our port staff and our motor carriers to prepare for compliance with some of the remaining program elements,” says Geraldine Knatz, port executive director.

The staff recommendation is to adjust the employee transition schedule over the next two years, as follows:
• 0 percent gate moves by employee drivers by Dec. 31;
• 20 percent gate moves by employee drivers by Dec. 31, 2011;
• 66 percent gate moves by employee drivers by Dec. 31, 2012; and
• 100 percent gate moves by employee drivers by Dec. 31, 2013.

The port says this schedule is consistent with the time periods and percentages of employee driver gate moves for the initial two-year employee transition schedule, as well as the achievement date for 100 percent employee drivers under the concession agreements signed by the port’s Clean Truck Program LMC participants.

Port staff also will recommend that the use of job referral services from a work force development office be deferred until a contract can be entered into with a service provider. The staff also will recommend that motor carriers have until Jan. 1, 2011, to submit an off-street parking plan and until July 1, 2011, to implement that plan. Other adjustments include compliance with some requirements only on a going-forward basis, such as financial capability information submitted with concession applications and ongoing record-keeping by the LMCs enrolled in the program.

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Snyder in late August ruled in favor of the City of Los Angeles and the port in a lawsuit brought by the American Trucking Associations over the Clean Truck Program. The court awarded judgment in favor of the city and ruled that the concession agreement provisions banning owner-operators are enforceable. Snyder rejected ATA’s arguments that the plan was not in compliance with federal laws regarding interstate commerce and transportation safety.

Snyder ruled that the agreement’s employee provision would protect the port’s financial investment in subsidized vehicles and ensure that drivers have the available funds to maintain the new, cleaner truck fleet. The 57-page ruling said air pollution from trucks had jeopardized the port’s future as a commercial enterprise, with emissions-related lawsuits stalling its growth.

ATA attorneys have filed formal notice that they are appealing Snyder’s ruling.