Long Beach weighs end to clean truck fee prepayment
The Port of Long Beach is eyeing a change to the way it collects fees associated with its Clean Trucks Program.
The change would let importers and exporters whose cargo is already ferried to the port by clean trucks or on-dock rail to avoid pre-paying the fee and then getting a refund.
Currently, every container is subject to the fee, though shippers whose containers move on newer, cleaner trucks get the fee refunded. Containers moving on trucks deemed by the port to be older and more polluting are subject to the fee, which goes to a fund that helps independent owner-operators replace older trucks with newer models.
Shippers have complained to the port that the prepayment system has resulted in 'extra costs and onerous administrative burdens.' The port said it is proposing to remove the prepayment program because it is a 'bureaucratic step that has become unnecessary.'
The port reported Friday that 85 percent of container are now moving on cleaner trucks or by on-dock rail, far ahead of schedule of the port's clean air goals.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is scheduled to consider the change Monday. If approved, the new rule would go into effect Nov. 1.