Settlement between Port of Long Beach and American Trucking Association solidifies Clean Truck Program
2009-10-20 · By Editor
The American Trucking Association’s (ATA) Executive Committee and the Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioners have approved a settlement negotiated between Port officials and ATA and trucking industry representatives. The Settlement is based on motor carrier registration process, referred to as a Registration and Agreement, which will replace the Port’s Concession Agreement.
Although litigation with the Port of Los Angeles will continue, this settlement resolves the final legal challenge to the Port of Long Beach’s year-old Clean Trucks Program. One of the Port’s most ambitious environmental initiatives, the program is already cutting truck-related pollution significantly and aims to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2012 or earlier.
“This is a critical milestone for the program, reaching consensus with an important industry partner,” said Nick Sramek, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “With this settlement, the Port of Long Beach and the ATA have agreed to move forward, together, on a Clean Trucks Program that works to safeguard the environment while contributing to economic growth and jobs.”
The new registration apparatus will allow the Port to strictly oversee and enforce motor carrier’s compliance with federal, state, and port safety, security, and environmental regulations. In particular, motor carriers registering to operate at the Port must agree to enter all truck and driver information into the Port’s Drayage Truck Registry and to equip each truck with Radio Frequency Identification tag or other technological device to allow the Port to monitor and control truck entry to Port facilities.
“The change will streamline our program,” said Sramek. “At the same time, under the new registration system, the Port of Long Beach will have the tools to strictly monitor and enforce its Clean Trucks Program and the Program’s truck emission reductions. It will also be positioned to enforce fully all of its security and safety related regulations.”
Motor carriers must also certify, among other things, that any truck dispatched to the Port will comply with all federal, state, and Port safety, security and environmental — including the Port’s Clean Trucks Program — regulations. Similarly, motor carriers will acknowledge responsibility for ensuring that all drivers dispatched to the Port possess a valid commercial drivers’ license and a Transportation Worker Identification Card. The Registration further acknowledges the right of the Port to deny entry to any truck or driver that does not meet these regulatory requirements.
The Registration and Agreement also contains a carrier’s acknowledgment that its trucks are subject to inspections while on Port property to further ensure safety, security, and environmental compliance. The authority of the Port to conduct truck safety, security, and emissions inspections of any truck on Port property is spelled out in the document.
ATA President and CEO Bill Graves expressed satisfaction that ATA and the Ports could reach an agreement. “We have always strongly supported the environmental objectives of the Port and supports strict compliance with and adherence to all safety and security laws and regulations,” said Graves. “We never disagreed with their objectives, only with certain provisions of the Concession Agreements which we believed were unnecessary for the accomplishment of those objectives.” Graves also noted that ATA has long supported the concept of truck inspections on Port property as the most effective method of monitoring and ensuring regulatory compliance.
“The Clean Trucks Program is one of the biggest steps we’ve taken to improve air quality, and I’m happy to see that the Port and the ATA have resolved these legal issues so that we can move forward together,” said Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster.
The Clean Trucks Program progressively bans older trucks, replacing them with newer trucks. Pre-1989 trucks are no longer allowed at the Port and beginning January 1, 2010, 1993 and older trucks will be banned. By 2012, only trucks meeting the 2007 federal emission standards will be allowed to operate at the Port.