LOS ANGELES --- Starting Jan. 1, the Port of Los Angeles' Clean Truck Program will ban all 1989-1993 trucks from hauling goods in and out of the harbor. Also banned will be 1994-2003 trucks that have not been retrofitted.

However, truckers who can prove they have a new clean-burning truck on order may qualify for a four-month reprieve and be allowed to enter the port with their older truck.

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved a second set of modifications to the Port of Los Angeles tariff. As result, truckers who have purchased a new truck or retrofit with private funds will be allowed to continue to operate their existing truck until April 30, 2010 while waiting for the new truck to be delivered or the retrofit to be installed. 

The Port of Los Angeles tariff will allow the same extension as the Air Resources Board for purchase of a truck with private funds.

To qualify for the extension, the retrofit must be Level 3 and must also have a 25-percent NOx reduction capability. 

The Port of Long Beach recently approved similar provisions to its tariff. If the retrofit on order does not have this additional NOx reduction capability, it will not meet the San Pedro Bay Ports environmental requirements. In such case, the extension will not be allowed in either port.

To sign up for this latest extension, truckers need to be registered on both the state and Port Drayage Truck Registry by Dec. 30. They also must provide a copy of a purchase order or other evidence of a commitment of funds for the new truck or retrofit to the Air Resources Board by Dec. 31, 2009. 

The state will send stickers allowing entry into ports and rail yards statewide to qualifying truckers by Jan. 15, 2010. The two ports have agreed to update their electronic gate entry system for entrance into port terminals by the same date, Jan. 15.

The latest Port of Los Angeles tariff modifications, approved Dec. 10,  come after the board took similar action at its Nov. 19 meeting. At that time, the board approved tariff amendments to allow truckers to continue operating existing trucks past the Jan. 1, 2010 ban date while waiting for Prop 1B-related grants to be issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District or other grant agencies. The tariff changes were enacted by the Port of Los Angeles to support parallel actions taken by the California Air Resources Board to provide extensions to the State Drayage Truck Rule ban date. That's also set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2010.

"We have worked closely with the Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District in recent months to get as much funding for new trucks into the hands of truck owners as we can," said John Holmes, deputy executive director of operations for the Port of Los Angeles. "These tariff ban extensions will allow time for the trucks to be delivered."

In its Drayage Truck Advisory issued Dec. 8, the Air Resources Board said this latest extension was provided due to "delays in the availability of expected state bond funds" earlier in the year. The Air Resources Board acknowledged that the funding delays resulted in holdups in grant programs for truck replacements and retrofits, and may have caused a time crunch for truck owners denied state funding and who are now privately financing the upgrades. 

Some truckers, however, argue that the state's ban on pre1994 trucks entering the ports should be delayed for all truckers. The cleaner-burning trucks are too expensive to buy and maintain for many truckers, Ronald Martinez, vice president of the National Port Drivers Association, told the Daily Breeze newspaper.