Seattle port director opposes truck regs rewrite
Tay Yoshitani, chief executive for the Port of Seattle, said Thursday he is personally opposed to attempts by other ports to change federal law to allow them more authority to regulate the port trucking industry.
The ports of Los Angeles, Oakland and New York, along with two environmental groups, are pressing Congress to amend the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) of 1994 and provide an exception to federal pre-emption of trucking regulations, considered part of interstate commerce, so that local governments can set rules on the trucking industry.
As part of their clean air environmental plans, the ports want to force independent truck drivers out of business and require all drivers entering their complexes to be employees of a drayage company. They argue that larger companies are better capitalized to invest in new trucks with cleaner burning diesel engines or powered by alternative fuel such as liquefied natural gas.
'I think changing it (the law) would be a great disservice to commerce,' Yoshitani said in response to a question at the International Propeller Club conference in Seattle.
The port director said the Port of Seattle has not taken a formal position on FAAAA because he has not taken the issue to the port commission, adding that if he did so his advice would be to oppose any change.
Shipper groups, including the Retail Leaders Industry Association, Agriculture Transportation Coalition and the National Industrial Transportation League, have asked Seattle and other ports not to support an exception for regulating trucking. ' Eric Kulisch