Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oakland Port Trucking Trade Group Calling for Delay in CARB Rules

A trucking trade group representing short-haul drivers servicing the Port of Oakland claims that state emission regulations set to take effect in 2014 would likely cost the trucking industry a total of at least $300 million.

The West State Alliance, which represents the drayage drivers, is trying to build support to force a delay of the California Air Resources Board rules that require trucks to be retrofitted with nitrogen oxide, or NOx, reduction equipment by January 2014.

The group claims that the impending CARB rules would require the purchase of 2007 or newer model year trucks to replace the roughly 4,400 trucks servicing the ports that are currently 1996-2006 model year vehicles – about 75 percent of the Oakland drayage fleet. With the going rate for a new truck ranging from $65,000 to more than $120,000, this would require a total investment by the area trucking industry of between $290 million and $530 million. CARB has rejected previous requests to postpone the 2014 deadline to a later date.

The WSA has reportedly been in contact with Oakland city and port officials in an effort to drum up support to help push back the CARB deadline.

In addition to the 2014 deadline, Oakland drayage drivers also face two more immediate deadlines: as of January 2012, 2004 model year trucks would require a CARB Phase I retrofit; and, as of January 2013, 2005-2006 model year trucks servicing the port will be required to have the retrofits. Estimates suggest that there are 700 and 1,700 trucks of the two categories, respectively. CARB estimates that the retrofit filters will cost between $10,000 and $31,000 per installation, requiring another $24 million to $75 million near-term investment by the trucking industry.

However, according to WSA, currently no such filters exist or are under development that would make the trucks compliant with the 2014 NOX requirement, thus requiring the purchase of new trucks. WSA pointed to a letter from a filter manufacturer that stated the CARB 2014 NOx requirement is beyond the limits of current technology.