Coalition calls on California truck emission standards

March 29, 2007
In a move that might spark ire from some California trucking companies, organizations representing retailers, importers, exporters, ocean carriers, marine terminal operators and railroads is calling on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to set a single diesel truck emission standard

In a move that might spark ire from some California trucking companies, organizations representing retailers, importers, exporters, ocean carriers, marine terminal operators and railroads are calling on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to set a single diesel truck emission standard for all trucks in California. The Waterfront Coalition is proposing that drayage trucks be the first to comply with tighter emissions standards.

The trade groups have released a white paper that calls on marine terminals to collect a “mitigation fee” on port trucks that don’t comply with emissions standards by a specified deadline. The moneys collected would be used to provide low-cost loans and lease-purchase arrangements for owner-operators who wish to upgrade their trucks. Additionally, the white paper called for tax incentives for owner-operators and trucking companies that purchase trucks meeting CARB standards.

“We are proposing that absolutely no taxpayer money be used to replace old trucks as some have proposed,” said National Retail Federation vp Erik Autor. “The companies that benefit from California’s ports are willing to pay their fair share, but we believe a cooperative approach would be more cost-effective and yield better result than a one-sided solution focused on taxes and fees. We do believe the private sector—principally retailers, importers and exporters—can do their part in helping pay for cleaner harbor trucks through the freight rates they pay.”

The white paper argued that there wouldn’t be a large market disruption by mandating that trucks in California meet emissions standards because cargo owners will inevitably pay higher harbor trucking rates to avoid disruptions in the supply chain.

According to the white paper, CARB has embarked on a “dual process” of developing emission standards on truck fleets statewide and specific standards for drayage trucks. The coalition instead advocates for one standard.

To read the white paper, go to http://www.portmod.org/CA_Position.pdf.

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