Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ports' Clean Trucks Programs Under Challenge

Federal Maritime Commission comes under scrutiny
May 19, 2009

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has sued the Federal Maritime Commission for information about why the agency is involved in challenging the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports' new clean trucks programs.

Back in October, the NRDC filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Commission related to the agency's review of the programs. Over the last year, the Commission filed a lawsuit against the ports, initiated an administrative investigation, and used procedural hurdles to delay collection of a fee that was designed to raise money for cleaner trucks and spur deployment of cleaner, more efficient trucks.

Read more on the issue in the SF Chronicle and on the NRDC's blog.

Meanwhile, the Port of Oakland still faces tough decisions about how to reduce diesel emissions from trucks, ships, and trains after adoption of its first comprehensive master plan for reducing the air pollution last month. The Port Commission also agreed to restore up to $5 million in funding for grants to trucks to install diesel soot filters required of trucks using ports by a January 1, 2010, state deadline. The Commission had pulled back the money last November during a review of port finances hit hard by the economic downturn.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board, and Environmental Protection Agency said the Marine Air Quality Improvement Plan, approved 5-1 by the Board of Port Commissioners, needs more teeth, as did several local residents and leaders of community groups.

Read more in the SJ Mercury News.

Sometime Soon

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