After threatened action by haulers at the Port of Oakland and pleas from the West State Alliance, drivers left out in the cold because they didn’t have funds to comply with drayage truck emissions standards got some help in the form of an extra $11 million yesterday.
According to the Alliance, which calls itself the “voice of the Port of Oakland trucker,” some 1,200 truck drivers who service the port had applied for funding and were denied because the $22 million in assistance to replace noncompliant trucks ran out.
In fact, port haulers reportedly threatened to shut down the port over the weekend and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which promulgated the emissions regulations that took effect Jan. 1, allotted an additional $11 million to help the drivers comply.
The Alliance, in a letter sent to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, had asked for more funding and for a time extension in meeting the drayage truck emissions requirements, and an extension was announced by CARB at the end of last year.
CARB is offering an extension through April 30 to port and rail yard truck owners who have been approved for grants or who have secured private funding for soot traps or replacement trucks but are waiting for the new equipment to be delivered. To apply for this extension visit www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onroad/porttruck/porttruck.htm. Soot traps cost an estimated $12,000 to $25,000, depending on the age of the truck.
CARB through local air districts and ports made $85 million available to meet regulations, according to the agency.
The Alliance in its letter said, “There are likely to be significant hardships for these truck drivers and their families and attendant negative impacts on Oakland’s economy. With Oakland’s current unemployment rate at 17 percent, it is imperative that we focus our efforts in increasing employment opportunities and prevent the significant loss of jobs.”
Dorothy Cox of The Trucker staff may be reached to comment at email@example.com.