LA will explore blocking companies from port if their truckers aren’t employees

By City News Service

The city of Los Angeles will explore whether it can block companies from doing business at its port if they use truck drivers classified as independent contractors under a motion introduced Friday by two councilmen.

Drivers at the port have complained for years that the practice is a scheme to deny them just compensation, and drivers and warehouse workers have engaged in 15 labor strikes in the past four years. The most recent strike in June involved several large companies that do transport business at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

“The city of Los Angeles must ensure that all workers who contribute to the operations at the Port of Los Angeles be afforded a safe work environment, fair wages, and guaranteed rights and benefits,” states the motion by Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Bob Blumenfield.


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EPA removes climate references from truck efficiency website

By Timothy Cama

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed some climate change references from a website about a trucking industry efficiency program.

The site for the SmartWay program has removed mentions of “carbon” and “greenhouse gases,” replacing them with terms like “sustainability” and “emissions,” according to the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, which has been tracking EPA website changes under the Trump administration.

The general emphasis on climate change has been reduced dramatically, along with the focus on international efforts under the program, the group said in a Friday report.


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Railroads fined for violating state’s drayage truck regulation

By http://www.publicnow.com/view/74BBA7B4D0AD63F8A28029C3CD07CE93879BE432?2017-08-11-00:30:11+01:00-xxx8112

The California Air Resources Board reached settlements with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) and Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR) to resolve violations of the state's drayage truck regulation, which requires cleanup of trucks servicing the state's busy ports and intermodal rail yards. An investigation by CARB's Enforcement Division documented that both companies had failed to accurately report all the required information for noncompliant trucks entering 12 separate intermodal terminals. Intermodal terminals facilitate transfer of goods from train to truck or vice-versa.

BNSF agreed to pay a total of $720,000; UPRR will pay $525,000. The cases highlight CARB's efforts to mitigate the damaging impact that older, dirtier trucks have on nearby communities that have traditionally borne the brunt of diesel pollution due to the high volume of truck traffic near the rail yards.

'CARB's commitment to protecting these disadvantaged communities near rail yards is unwavering,' said CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey. 'Union Pacific and BNSF have done the right thing by acknowledging their mistakes and agreeing to take steps that will reduce emissions and immediately improve the quality of life for those who live and breathe near the yards.'


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Electric truck trial benefits for US port

By http://www.portstrategy.com/news101/world/americas/electric-truck-trial-could-bring-port-cost-benefits

A US port could benefit from a feasibility trial of cost effective zero-emission freight handling using all-electric trucks.

GSC Logistics said that its three-year trial to test battery-powered big rig technology will take place at the Port of Oakland from this September, and depending on the outcome, these trucks could be integrated into its fleet.

“The purpose of the demo is to prove that battery-operated trucks can work in real world applications and port operations,” said Scott Taylor, CEO, GSC Logistics.

California’s Air Resources Board initiated the zero-emission truck trial last year. It’s sponsoring a test with five battery-powered rigs in Southern California concurrent with the Oakland study.


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EPA walks back delay of Obama air pollution rule

By Timothy Cama

The Trump administration is reversing course on its plan to delay by one year enforcement of the Obama administration’s ozone pollution regulation.

The reversal, announced late Wednesday, came a day after 15 states and the District of Columbia sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying the delay exceeded the agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act. Environmental groups filed a similar lawsuit last month.

In a statement announcing the decision, the EPA emphasized that it will continue to work with states on implementing the ozone rule, which could include more targeted enforcement delays.

“We believe in dialogue with, and being responsive to, our state partners,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in the statement. “Today’s action reinforces our commitment to working with the states through the complex designation process.”


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Port of Oakland-based firm first to test battery-powered big rig

By Mike Zampa

Oakland, Calif. – Aug. 2, 2017: A major Port of Oakland-based trucking operator plans to test battery-powered big rig technology here in September. GSC Logistics said today it will launch a three-year trial with a heavy-duty, all-electric truck. The test is part of a statewide effort to determine the feasibility of zero-emission freight hauling.

GSC, the Port’s largest motor carrier, becomes the first Northern California drayage company to test battery-powered trucks. CEO Scott Taylor said his firm would consider purchasing additional rigs if the trial is successful.

“The purpose of the demo is to prove that battery-operated trucks can work in real world applications and port operations,” said Mr. Taylor. “Depending on the efficiency, reliability, productivity and economics of battery-powered trucks, GSC would certainly entertain the possibility of integrating them into our fleet in the future.”

California’s Air Resources Board initiated the zero-emission truck trial last year. It’s sponsoring a test with five battery-powered rigs in Southern California concurrent with the Oakland study. Shenzhen, China-based BYD Co. is manufacturing the trucks.


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Are new-tech trucks ready to replace diesel, keep California’s pollution-fighting promise?

By Rachel Uranga, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

The race to replace Southern California’s biggest polluter is on. It’s going to take science, time, money — and maybe an assist from Elon Musk.

At the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, an ambitious $14 billion clean-air plan calls for the elimination of dirty-burning diesel equipment by 2035 — $9 billion just to purchase and deploy trucks.

It’s not going to be easy or cheap to replace the iconic workhorse of the region’s economy. About 16,000 diesel trucks tote tons of cargo — nearly 40 percent of all goods imported into the country — from the ports to the warehouses and deployment centers of the Inland Empire.

“It’s going to be extremely expensive and the technology is not there,” Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, told his commissioners last week.


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Why California’s most polluting vehicles aren’t required to get smog checks

By Rachel Uranga, Southern California News Group

It’s California’s dirty little emissions secret.

As Gov. Jerry Brown and the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach promise an emissions-free future, some diesel fumes aren’t going anywhere.

That’s because, unlike your car, there’s no routine emissions-testing program for big rigs in California.

And a provision in Senate Bill 1 – the $52 billion road-fixing law Brown signed amid much ballyhoo in the spring – exempts most diesel trucks from emissions-reduction requirements for many years ahead.

Instead, the state will continue to rely on random inspections at weigh stations on the side of the road and at border crossings.


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California farm region plagued by dirty air looks to Trump

By SCOTT SMITH, Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- California's vast San Joaquin Valley, the country's most productive farming region, is engulfed by some of the nation's dirtiest skies, forcing the state's largest air district to spend more than $40 billion in the past quarter-century to enforce hundreds of stringent pollution rules.

The investment has steadily driven down the number of days with unhealthy air - but on hot, windless days, a brown haze still hangs overhead, sending wheezing people with tight chests to emergency rooms and hundreds each year to an early grave.

Despite the air district's efforts, the valley's air still violates federal standards for sooty pollution that comes from industry, businesses and vehicles.


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walmart truckWalmart, Big Shippers Ask Congress to Keep Clean Trucking Program

By John O'Dell

A coalition of major freight shippers has asked the U.S. House and Senate appropriations committees to restore funding for the voluntary SmartWay clean trucking program that was cut in the Trump administration’s 2018 federal budget proposal.

The shippers, including retailing giant Walmart, paper goods manufacturer Kimberly-Clark Corp. and technology companies Dell and HP Inc., said the endangered program has pushed the goods movement sector to slash emissions, saving an estimated 8 billion gallons of fuel and substantially reducing diesel trucks’ emissions of NOx and carcinogenic fine particulate matter.

A July 14 letter to leaders of the Congressional appropriations committees urged the preservation of the program and said that the savings in fuel costs alone – an estimated $27.8 billion since 2004 – is more than three times the EPA’s entire annual budget and “orders of magnitude higher than the cost of SmartWay itself.”

SmartWay’s current annual budget is $2.8 million.

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CARB to Use Settlement Funds for Emissions Reduction, Clean Vehicle Efforts

By Lauren Tyler

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has fined a number of companies for emissions violations and intends to direct the settlement funds to support air pollution research and help clean up diesel school buses.

Most recently, CARB fined three companies $726,250 for failing to comply with the state’s Cargo Handling Equipment Regulation, which sets emission standards for a range of equipment used mostly at ports and railyards, including gantry cranes, yard trucks and forklifts.

“Emissions from the ports can travel far inland, but they have the strongest impact on those who live and work near these busy trade hubs,” says Todd Sax, CARB’s enforcement division chief. “With enforcement of the Cargo Handling Equipment Regulation, CARB has been able to achieve a high compliance rate, significantly reducing emissions of diesel air contaminants in port-adjacent communities.”

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A California regulator’s curious crusade to remake the Clean Air Act

By Jim Morris

FRESNO, Calif. – The 250-mile-long San Joaquin Valley is an economic powerhouse, producing everything from crude oil to grapes, cotton to pistachios.

It’s also a pollution-trapping bowl, bounded on three sides by mountains and punished by meteorological conditions that cause dirty air to stagnate. All eight counties in the valley are in “extreme non-attainment” of the federal smog standard, which has led to penalties. Lung-searing ozone, the main component of smog, is cooked by triple-digit summer heat. Fine particles, tied to both heart and respiratory disease, fill the air on foggy winter days.

In theory, the Clean Air Act was built for places like this.

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State of the Air: California and Bay Area cities among top 10 most polluted in nation

By Pueng Vongs | pvongs@bayareanewsgroup.com

California cities dominated a list of top 10 most polluted regions published by the American Lung Association.

The State of the Air 2017 is based on air quality monitoring from 2013 to 2015. The Visalia-Porterville-Hanford areas in San Joaquin County had the highest level of year-round-particle pollution in the country. The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area ranked fourth ahead of Los Angeles-Long Beach area at number five. See the slideshow for the entire list.

Unhealthy particles in the air emanate from wildfires, wood-burning devices, coal-fired power plants and diesel engines, according to the Lung Association. These microscopic particles can lead to asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes as well as cause lung cancer. Climate change and drought worsen air quality. Read more >



OOIDA v. CARB: Ninth Court upholds district court dismissal

By Sandi Soendker, Land Line editor-in-chief

OOIDA’s tenacious lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board added another chapter to its long chronicle in mid-April. OOIDA told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco that after being bounced from court to court, the case should move forward. The court’s opinion was quick, and a disappointment to truckers.

On April 19, OOIDA’s attorney told the federal court in San Francisco that the case was properly filed in district court (Dec. 6, 2013) and should have not been dismissed (Oct. 29, 2014). On April 26, the judges affirmed the 2014 ruling of the district court to dismiss the case.

The three-judge panel included Stephen Roy Reinhardt, A. Wallace Tashima and Donald W. Mollo. Daniel E. Cohen of the Cullen Law Firm represented OOIDA and truckers. Linda Gandara, California’s deputy attorney general, argued for CARB. Read more >


Amazon documentary asks: What would a day without trucks be like?

By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Last week was A Day Without a Woman. Before that came A Day Without an Immigrant. These protests — though a bit gimmicky — demonstrate what the economy would be like without these groups.

A new documentary, “Be Prepared to Stop” by Jennifer Clymer, executive producer, airing on Amazon and iTunes March 30, flashes graphics illustrating what five days would be like without trucks.

Produce, prescription drugs, even cash in ATM machines would be gone. Garbage would be piling up on the streets. You get the picture.

No trucks, no freight movement, no goods and no services to cities, stores, homes.

Gimmicks aside, the documentary opened my eyes to some new facts and drove home familiar ones like a semi barreling down the Grapevine.

Even with a five-year, $305 billion transportation bill passed by Washington in late 2015, the nation’s roads and highways are still in poor shape. It’s a temporary solution, according to the film, which includes mostly voices from the trucking industry and pro-infrastructure members of Congress.
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How local ports reduced pollution but lost trust among truck drivers along the way

By Emily Guerin

More than cars, power plants, or even refineries, heavy duty diesel trucks are the reason why greater Los Angeles has never met federal smog standards.

So nine years ago, the area’s twin ports – Los Angeles and Long Beach – began paying truck drivers to scrap their old, polluting rigs and replace them with cleaner ones. The program dramatically slashed diesel emissions, and now, the ports are rolling out a sequel meant to reduce emissions even more. But in the process of cleaning up the air, the ports lost the trust of some of their most important partners: trucking companies, who say after their experience with the first program, they’re wary of driving alternative fueled vehicles again. Read more >


How new Southern California air cleanup plan could affect warehouses, ports


Southern California air quality officials approved a 15-year pollution clean-up plan Friday, March 3, after adding provisions that would eventually eliminate a pollution-credits marketplace that regulates emissions from oil refineries and other major smokestack polluters.

But the 11-2 vote by the South Coast Air Quality Management District board left intact controversial plans for pollution reduction from the region's ports and warehouse centers to be achieved through voluntary compliance with industry.

The board majority rejected provisions sought by new member Sheila Kuehl, a Los Angeles County supervisor, that would have required district staff to develop port and warehouse rules that the board could put in place should volunteer efforts fall short. Read more >


CARB, Highway Patrol to Conduct Emissions Inspections by Calif. Port

By Lauren Tyler

In its latest announcement, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) says it will be working alongside the California Highway Patrol to conduct inspections on heavy-duty trucks traveling in and around the Port of Oakland.

According to the agency, this effort is part of CARB’s ongoing enforcement campaign to ensure that clean air requirements are understood and that big rigs are in compliance with the laws designed to improve air quality throughout California.

In addition, the inspections are also part of the California Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to focus special attention on disadvantaged communities. As reported, neighborhoods near the port experience higher impacts from port-related air pollution than those located farther away.

CARB says uniformed representatives will be inspecting trucks for excess smoke, proper emissions control labels, tampering, compliance with regulations requiring soot filters on trucks and transport refrigeration units, and SmartWay aerodynamic equipment designed to increase fuel economy. Read more >


It’s time for ports to push transition to cleaner heavy-duty trucks: Guest commentary

By George I. Minter: Opinion

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are looking at new opportunities to clean our air and protect our climate. It’s a historic opportunity and consistent with California’s long-standing leadership on environmental policy.

The new Clean Air Action Plan, or CAAP, put out by both ports, targets cleaning up dirty trucks — the single largest contributor to smog. But unfortunately, it doesn’t go far enough to actually deliver the cleanest trucks that can be on the road today.

Near-zero-emission heavy-duty natural gas vehicles exist today — delivering immediate clean-air benefits and transforming the ports’ diesel-dominated freight movement system. One truck engine manufacturer recently certified a new natural gas engine under the state’s new “Low NOx Standard” that reduces smog-forming emission by 90 percent, and provides the performance the trucking industry demands. Read more >


Good Luck Killing the EPA

by Eric Roston

The new U.S. president and Congress are taking a hard look at environmental rules—none harder than a freshman U.S. representative whose new bill would “terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Republicans have been known to threaten this from time to time, with the understanding that it was red meat for ideological or business interests with no real chance of success. “Everybody hates regulation,” said Republican Christine Todd Whitman, a former EPA administrator and New Jersey governor, “because it makes you either spend money or change behavior for a problem you may not see.” Read more >


Trump's EPA pick poised to survive Senate fight, but his brewing battle with California will be harder to win

By Evan Halper and Chris Megerian, L.A. Times

President Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency survived a rancorous committee vote Thursday, putting him on the path to full Senate confirmation and a confrontation with California.

Scott Pruitt, who oil and gas companies are betting will help them reassert dominance over the energy economy, has cast doubt on California’s power to force automakers to build more efficient, cleaner-burning cars.

But he soon may learn that battles like the one he appears poised to launch can be full of unpleasant surprises.

The landmark environmental policy that the EPA nominee called into question — giving California unique authority to set tough rules for car and truck emissions — has proved resilient. So has California. Read more >


CARB Appoints First Environmental Justice Liaison

By Stanley Young - stanley.young@arb.ca.gov

Veronica Eady to be inaugural Assistant Executive Officer for Environmental Justice

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board Executive Officer Richard Corey announced today the appointment of Veronica Eady as CARB’s inaugural Assistant Executive Officer for Environmental Justice.

Veronica Eady is currently Vice President and Director of Conservation Law Foundation Massachusetts and was the Associate General Counsel and Director of Environmental Justice at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a non-profit civil rights law firm in New York City. Eady has also served as Director of the Environmental Justice and Brownfields Programs for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where she was the principal author of Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Policy. Eady was also Executive Director of Alternatives for Community and Environment, an environmental justice advocacy organization. She is the former chair of EPA’s federal advisory committee for environmental justice, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.  Read more >


California Has Done It Again!

By Matt Schrap

EPA Grants Petition for Lower Engine Standard

Well, just when the light at the end of the tunnel was drawing near, the trucking industry is again seeing the one eyed freight train of environmental regulation headed right at them. This week the EPA released a response the petition filed by CARB, SCAQMD and SJAPCD requesting a federal rulemaking for a lower NOx engine standard to take effect in 2024. EPA has granted their request and will begin a 24 month for technical research period with a rulemaking coming in 2019 for a 2024 implementation date.
While this may all sound familiar, these new standards are not the kind that are designed to enhance fuel economy, like the Phase 1 and Phase 2 GHG standards,(Click here for More Info ) these are the type that directly control criteria pollutants and tend to degrade fuel economy. In this case, the criteria pollutants under control are the directly emitted oxides of nitrogen or NOx, which forms ozone in the atmosphere when it reacts with sunlight, eventually resulting the ever familiar shroud of smog that blankets many major cities and metropolitan areas in the world.  Read more >





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