Los Angeles and Long Beach Californian May Close Ports To Owner-Operators


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Ports at Los Angeles and Long Beach may agree to become the first major U.S. ports to overhaul operations in order to meet emissions standards.
Just what kind of overhaul will happen depends on who you ask.

An estimated 16,000 tractor-trailers pull into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach every day, and port leaders say the vehicles are among the oldest and dirtiest trucks still operating in the United States.

The ports have pledged to fund $200 million to purchase new trucks that meet 2007 diesel emissions standards, and say that a new licensing program planned to take effect Jan. 1, 2008, would ensure that only financially viable truck owners could access the ports and the truck replacement dollars.

Port officials say operations changes haven’t been defined on paper, though they’ve presented new possibilities to industry stakeholders during two meetings in early April. A new licensing system would limit the trucks eligible to enter the port to only those on a list of “concessionaires” that would meet environmental and financial standards set by the ports, they say.

“We have to clean up port-related operations here in order to grow,” Arley Baker, a spokesman for the Port of Los Angeles, told Land Line.

Baker said he expected it would be late June before a draft of the proposed changes would be made public.

An attorney with the American Trucking Association, however, said the new rules appear to be tailored to meet the goals of unions while shutting out owner-operators.

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