Long Beach port board OKs bans on older Class 7s, drayoffs

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The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners this week approved the inclusion of Class 7 trucks to the Clean Trucks Program and penalties for drayoffs, the practice of switching cargo from a newer clean truck to an older truck within the Harbor District.

Under the Clean Trucks Program, Class 8 trucks have been subject to strict emissions standards, and older models have been banned progressively from terminals since the program began in 2008. Class 7 trucks now will be added to the progressive ban starting July 1, 2011.

The program banned virtually all Class 8 trucks that did not meet 2007 emissions standards last year. According to the port, some trucking companies starting using older Class 7 models to move lighter loads like empty containers. The port says that as many as 550 of the Class 7 trucks may be operating in the San Pedro Bay area, accounting for 2 to 3 percent of truck moves.

The board also approved charging cargo owners a Clean Trucks fee if their containers are observed being switched from a newer clean truck to a banned truck within the Harbor District. The item will get a second reading at the next board meeting, Monday, Jan. 24.

The port says the use of older Class 7 trucks and drayoffs give firms an unfair advantage over companies that follow the letter and the spirit of the Clean Trucks Program, which has reduced truck-related pollution in the port complex by 80 percent, two years ahead of schedule.