The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the inclusion of smaller ‘Class 7’ trucks to the landmark Clean Trucks Program and penalties for “dray-offs” - the practice of switching cargo from a “clean” to a “dirty” - within the Harbor District.
“Class 7” trucks are smaller and less powerful than “Class 8” trucks, which are typically used in the movement of shipping containers to and from ports. Under the Clean Trucks Program, Class 8 trucks are subject to strict emission standards and older models have been progressively banned from terminals since the program began in 2008. Class 7 trucks now will be added to the progressive ban starting July 1, 2011.
The program banned virtually all Class 8 trucks that did not meet 2007 emission standards last year. Since then, some trucking companies have begun using older Class 7 models to move lighter loads like empty containers. As many as 550 of the Class 7 trucks may be operating in the San Pedro Bay area, accounting for 2 to 3 percent of truck moves.
The Board also approved charging cargo owners a Clean Trucks fee if their containers are observed being switched from a clean truck to a banned truck within the Harbor District.
The use of older, more polluting Class 7 trucks and dray-offs give firms an unfair advantage over companies that follow the letter and the spirit of the Clean Trucks Program.
The Clean Trucks Program is landmark pollution control measure that has successfully removed the oldest and dirtiest trucks from port service while reducing truck-related pollution in the port complex by 80 percent, two years ahead of schedule.