ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) today congratulated the leadership of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for developing a Clean Trucks Program that will improve air quality at the port. The NY/NJ plan focuses on reducing truck pollution through retirement of older diesel engines and not on unrelated and unnecessary requirements or banning owner-operator truck drivers from hauling freight at the port.
“I would like to express our appreciation to the leadership of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who managed the development of this Clean Truck initiative,” said Curtis Whalen, executive director of the Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference (IMCC) of the ATA. “While the stakeholder participants often did not totally agree on the program specifics, all were given the opportunity to express their views and in the end consensus was reached to move ahead with a plan to reduce emissions through a subsidized program aimed at modernizing the port’s truck drayage fleet.”
Beginning January 1, 2011, pre-1994 model trucks will no longer be able to call on Port Authority terminals; and on January 1, 2017, all trucks hauling freight from the port must meet or exceed 2007 federal emissions standards.
“Given the continuing effects of the recession that still grips our country and this region, the Port Authorities should be sensitive to the current economic conditions, including the very uncertain levels of future freight volumes, in determining the appropriate timing for full implementation of the program,” Whalen said. “While fully supportive of the clean air goals, the drayage industry is in a particularly vulnerable position that may counsel for a go-slow approach until the economic climate improves.”
To assist with replacements, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will offer grants and financial assistance to help cover the cost of a new truck. Information about the program and about the application process is available at the Truck Replacement Center at 1180 McLester St., Elizabeth, N.J., or online at www.replacemytruck.org, or in Spanish at www.cambiamicamion.org.
The Port Authority designed a $28 million program to help companies and drivers transition into cleaner vehicles. Drivers that regularly call on the Port’s marine terminals are eligible for assistance. While NY/NJ moves toward full program implementation, ATA urges port officials to continue evaluating freight volume movements and projections to insure that sufficient operational revenues are indeed available to cover the new truck purchase obligations that now will be generated by the Clean Truck plan.
Dorothy Cox of The Trucker staff may be contacted to comment at email@example.com.