The Ports are making it way too hard for trucking fleets to transition to clean trucks. They keep changing their policy plans. They keep delaying their policy plans. They keep confusing industry. They keep blaming others like the California Air Resources Board, South Coast AQMD, and the beneficial cargo owners that ship the goods. The bottom line is that trucking fleets cannot make a decision on clean trucks until there are clear policies in place that set the ground rules. The policies need to level the playing field so that clean trucks are more easily accessible than used diesel trucks. These used diesel port trucks are the #2 source of smog-forming NOx emissions in the Ports. Smog causes respiratory illness throughout Southern California. Diesel port trucks are also the #1 source of climate pollutants from port operations. We all know what is happening to our planet from climate pollutants. Ironically, the ports are at the frontline of impacts from climate change. They have the most to lose if climate change is not reversed. Their best economic interests are served by doing more to reduce climate pollutants.
So why is it so hard for the ports to put in place a policy that transitions to clean trucks? The 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update committed to have this policy in place and begin in “early 2020.” Here we are, in early 2020. All the ports need to do is adopt the following provisions to become effective immediately:
- Require newly registered port trucks to meet the CARB near-zero NOx standard of 0.02 or have zero tailpipe emissions.
- Adopt a container fee that motivates change in the market as promised by the CAAP. The ports have floated a $10 fee. We think the fee needs to be $50.
- Exempt near-zero and zero emissions trucks from the container fee for the life of the truck.
- Use the money collected from container fees to incentivize the purchase of near-zero and zero emission trucks.
These policies will transition diesel port trucks to clean trucks starting this year. We don’t have time to waste. Our community health and the planet can’t wait. We need to End Diesel Now!