Back in 2006, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced their joint Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) with the goal of reducing emission levels for trucks, yard equipment and ships. The ports differed on the subject of Los Angeles’ requirement that all truck drivers serving their port complex be employees rather than independent owner-operators. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) sued the port on the grounds it violated federal law (Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act – F4A) and won in the US Supreme Court in 2013.
Fast forward, the ports have announced an update to their plan. CAAP 2017 will require further emission reductions and the use of zero-emission vehicles (which are not even feasible yet). Some of the plan highlights are:
- Phase in clean engine standards for trucks and transition to zero-emission drayage trucks by 2035.
- Transition to zero-emission yard equipment by 2030.
- Expand the use of on-dock rail with a goal of 50% of all inbound cargo leaving by rail.
- Develop charging standards for electric cargo-handling equipment.
- Explore short-haul rail, staging yards, truck appointment systems, off-terminal queueing, intelligent transportation systems and other strategies for enhancing efficiencies across the supply chain.
- Develop infrastructure plans to support the electrification and use of alternative fuels for terminal equipment.
We are currently in a 90-day comment period. If you have suggestions or opinions you wish to share with the San Pedro Bay port authorities regarding CAAP 2017, you may do so through February 17, 2017 via this email link
We love California, but we also appreciate we can be our own worst enemy. Onerous regulations, California-only emission standards, over-zealous lawmakers, dilapidated roadways and labor strife continue to drive business away. Please take a moment to read economist Jock O’Connell’s report on the subject here.
While you’re reading, keep in mind there has been a slow attrition of cargo from the West Coast to the East and Gulf Coasts since the disastrous labor contract negotiations of 2002. Once handling over 90% of all import containers from Asia, the West Coast is now barely holding onto to 66% of the market share.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) creates truck engine and emission standards more strict than the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) then enforces these standards on every truck serving or entering the state. Interstate truck fleets find it operationally impossible to have only a portion of their fleets compliant with California’s requirements, therefore, the CARB rules become the de facto national standards.
California’s legislature, as part of AB350, was considering mandating a 50% reduction in transportation related fuel usage by 2030. The California Trucking Association (CTA) and other transportation pundits opposed this portion of the legislation and were successful in having it removed from the law…much to the governor’s displeasure. The law still has the requirements to extract 50% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources and a 100% increase in the energy efficiency of building
Surprise CARB Inspections
In an effort to crack down on trucks which are not in compliance with state’s emissions and diesel particulate filter standards, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) set up a surprise inspection station on Highway 99 in Fresno. They cited nine trucks for violations. The fines range from $300 to $1000/month depending upon the infraction.
Devine runs a fleet of trucks CARB-compliant through 2021 and beyond.