Industry paper: Set Calif. diesel trucks emission limits now
The world’s largest retail trade association, along with other industry organizations, is joining the growing tide of voices calling for immediate action on diesel truck pollution, especially on trucks operating at California ports.
The National Retail Federation and other organizations representing importers, exporters, ocean carriers, marine terminal operators and railroads, Monday issued a white paper calling for emission standards, a stop to proposed container fees, and the creation of an organization to locate funding for infrastructure projects.
The NRF, the American Association of Railroads, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, the Waterfront Coalition and other groups involved in the shipment of cargo through California ports jointly prepared the white paper, entitled 'A Program for Establishing Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Financing and the Improvement of Harbor Drayage Trucks in the State of California.'
The emission standards, according to the paper, should also include early compliance for short-haul trucks working at the ports. Penalties should be assessed on trucks that do not meet the timetable, said the paper, and this money should be used to fund replacement of older trucks with newer and cleaner vehicles. The paper opposes the use of taxpayer money to replace or upgrade trucks.
The paper also called for a new approach to funding solutions to environmental and transportation problems in the state.
'California lawmakers have been trying to address congestion, air pollution and other concerns through legislative means such as container taxes,' said Erik Autor, NRF vice president and international trade counsel. 'We believe the better approach is for the private sector to address these issues and work with state and local government to resolve them. The companies that benefit from California's ports are willing to pay their fair share, but we believe a cooperative approach would be more cost-efficient and yield better results than a one-sided solution focused on fees and taxes.'
In addition, the white paper proposes the establishment of, and guiding principles for a public-private organization to identify financing options for six major infrastructure projects identified in the paper. These include replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge, SR-47 Expressway improvements, Interstate 110/SR-47 connector improvements, I-710 improvements, potentially including truck-only lanes, the Southern California International Gateway near-dock rail project (for which funding has already been identified) and future modernization and expansion of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility near-dock rail facility in Los Angeles.