LA Harbor Commission Includes Class-7 Trucks in the same Emissions Rules as Class-8 Trucks


The Los Angeles Harbor Commission voted two weeks ago to include Class 7 trucks in the same emissions rules that already apply to Class 8 trucks. The move will inhibit carriers from utilizing the smaller trucks to transport empty chassis and lighter containers through the Port – a carrier ploy deemed as a way of avoiding the strict emissions requirements forced upon Class 8 trucks.

The practice of "dray-offs" has been prohibited by the harbor Commission within the Harbor District or neighboring public streets. Dray-offs is the practice of exchanging cargo from a CTP-compliant truck to a non compliant truck within the Harbor District or nearby public streets.

Since October 1, 2008, the Port's Clean Truck Program is already in effect and modeled after the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) state Drayage Truck Rule. The State's and the Port's programs are both focused, originally, only on Class 8 heavy-duty drayage trucks, since they carried most of the drayage at ports and rail yards across the State.

Class 7 truck operation at the Port of Los Angeles has escalated considerably since the
kickoff o 2010, with an average truck engine age of 1998. Under the new tariff rule borrowed by the Harbor Commission, operators of Class 7 trucks will be answerable to the same access restrictions as Class 8 trucks. To continue operating at the port, they have until July 1, 2011 to either purchase an engine retrofit or a totally new truck.

"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."

Consequently, the commissions action led to subjecting motor carriers engaging in dray-off to fines of up to $1,000. Their concession agreement with the Port of Los Angeles may also be judged as inadequate. Violators of the rule are subject ot as long as six months imprisonment in the county jail.

To address the dray-off issue, CARB also considered a similar move to change its State Drayage Truck Rule to include regulation of Class 7 vehicles.