Blue-Green Coalition Praises Port Action

A coalition of over 100 environmental, public health, labor, faith-based and community groups known as the Blue-Green Coalition applauded Rep. Zoe Lofgren and 23 other California members of the US House of Representatives for jointly pushing for a revision to, in their words, “a decades-old law that a trucking lobby has used to lower driver incomes and threaten the nation’s most successful program for slashing diesel-truck emissions.”

The lawmakers indicated their desire to protect the Port of Los Angeles’ Clean Truck Program and permit officials in Oakland and around the country to enact similar operational requirements on port property to meet federal clean-air standards and improve safety, security and congestion, said the group.

“We thank our Members of Congress for refusing to let industry opponents roll back the stunning clean-up we have already made here in Southern California,” said Angelo Logan of the East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, which represents low-income residents along heavily polluted truck, rail and transportation corridors. “The trucking companies cannot hide behind an arcane 20th century statute to evade responsibility for investing in cleaner, greener fleets and then stick workers and taxpayers with the bill.”

According to the coalition, lawmakers wrote in the letter to Rep. James Oberstar, “As you consider transportation policies during this Congress, we urge you to allow California ports to implement and enforce critical truck management programs.” The Congressional leaders urged an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA). “[I]t is important for public ports to have the authority to reduce pollution and congestion while increasing safety and security from thousands of port trucks,” the lawmakers' letter said. “We support reforms to the port trucking industry that reduce the health impacts from diesel truck pollution in surrounding port communities and improve working conditions and labor standards for port truck drivers.”

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