The Los Angeles Harbor Commission on Thursday, Dec. 16, approved two measures to strengthen its enforcement of the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program that targets emissions. The commission approved a measure to incorporate Class 7 trucks into the CTP, and also approved a measure to strengthen enforcement against “drayoffs,” a practice that involves switching cargo from a CTP-compliant truck to a noncompliant truck within the Harbor District or adjacent public streets.
The CTP, in effect since Oct. 1, 2008, is modeled after the California Air Resources Board’s state Drayage Truck Rule. Both the state’s and the port’s programs originally focused only on Class 8 heavy-duty drayage trucks, since they conducted most of the drayage at ports and railyards across the state. CARB is considering similar action to amend its state rule to include regulation of Class 7 vehicles and to address the drayoff issue.
Because the average loaded container weighs about 30,000 pounds by itself, and the truck tractors weigh between 10,000 pounds and 12,000 pounds, Class 7 trucks lawfully cannot move most cargo to and from the port. These vehicles can move lighter loads, empty containers or bare chassis, though movement of the empties and bare chassis originally was handled by Class 8 vehicles. According to the port, this has changed over the past 11 months.
Since the start of 2010, Class 7 truck operation at the port has increased significantly, with an average truck engine age of 1998. That increase coincided with a Jan. 1 progressive ban on Class 8 trucks where engine model years older than 2004 either were banned outright or were subject to an engine retrofit requirement. Under the new tariff measure adopted by the commission, operators of Class 7 trucks will be subject to the same access restrictions as Class 8 trucks, and they will have until July 1, 2011, to purchase either an engine retrofit or a new vehicle in order to continue operating at the port.
Additionally, the commission modified the CTP tariff so that switching cargo from compliant trucks to banned trucks or to avoid payment of Clean Truck Fees, a practice otherwise known as “drayoffs,” now is banned anywhere in the Harbor District. Violations of the drayoff restrictions are punishable as misdemeanors with fines of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment in county jail for up to six months, and avoided fees will be assessed. Additionally, Licensed Motor Carriers also may be found in default of their concession agreements with the port.
“Since its inception two years ago, the Clean Truck Program has resulted in significantly cleaner air in the region, and more than 90 percent of gate moves at our terminals are now handled by compliant trucks,” says Geraldine Knatz, the port’s executive director. “By closing loopholes in the program, the action by the Harbor Commission today strengthens the Clean Truck Program and helps provide for its long-term sustainability.”