SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Dec. 16, 2010 — Building on the success of the Clean Truck Program (CTP), the Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved two measures to strengthen its enforcement of the program and further help reduce emissions.  First, the Harbor Commission approved a measure to incorporate Class 7 trucks, which are slightly smaller than Class 8 trucks, into the CTP.1 Second, the Harbor Commission approved a measure to strengthen enforcement against “dray-offs,” a practice which involves switching cargo from a CTP-compliant truck to a non-compliant truck within the HarborDistrict or adjacent public streets.

“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,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “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.”

The Port’s Clean Truck Program, in effect since Oct. 1, 2008, is modeled after the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) 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 rail yards across the State.

Because the average loaded container weighs about 30,000 lbs by itself, and the truck tractors weigh between 10,000 lbs and 12,000 lbs, Class 7 trucks cannot lawfully move most cargo to and from the Port.  These vehicles can move lighter loads, and empty containers or bare chassis, though movement of the empties and bare chassis was originally handled by Class 8 vehicles.  This has changed over the past 11 months.

Since the start of 2010, Class 7 truck operation at the Port of Los Angeles has increased significantly, with an average truck engine age of 1998.  That increase coincided with a Jan. 1, 2010 progressive ban on Class 8 trucks where engine model years older than 2004 were either banned outright or subject to an engine retrofit requirement.  Under the new tariff measure adopted by the Harbor 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 either purchase an engine retrofit or new vehicle in order to continue operating at the Port.

Additionally, the Harbor Commission modified the Clean Truck Program tariff so that switching cargo from compliant trucks to banned trucks or to avoid payment of Clean Truck Fees, a practice otherwise known as “dray-offs”, is now banned anywhere in the Harbor District.  Violations of the dray-off 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 Clean Truck Fees will be assessed.  Additionally, Licensed Motor Carriers may also be found to be found in default of their Concession Agreements with the Port.

CARB is considering similar action to amend its State Drayage Truck Rule to include regulation of Class 7 vehicles and to address the dray-off issue. CARB is scheduled to vote on similar measures at its two day meeting starting on Thursday, December 16.

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves.  As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.

The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port.  A brighter future.

1. Commercial trucks are classified by the United States Department of Transportation based on Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR), defined as the weight of the truck tractor together with its chassis, container and cargo.  Class 7 trucks have a GVWR of greater than 26,000 pounds and up to 33,000 pounds. Class 8 trucks are defined as those that can carry more than 33,000 pounds.