Calling themselves the Harbor Truckers for a Sustainable Future (HTSF), the group is made up of short-haul drayage companies and independent owner-operators who feel threatened by the San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) adopted by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in November 2006.
Under the Plan, only those concessionaires licensed by the ports operating clean trucks would be permitted to enter the terminals without having to pay a new truck impact gate fee. Clean trucks are 2007 models, those manufactured in 1994 or more recently that have been retrofitted to meet newer standards, or those replaced through the Gateway Cities truck modernization program that helps fund replacement of older trucks.
HTSF feels that the Truck Replacement Plan will force more than 16,000 independent truckers to give up their trucks and become employees of a small number of larger trucking firms who will be recognized as port concessionaires. The organization also says that more than 1,300 small drayage carriers will go out of business.
The coalition claims to support measures to reduce pollution. Saying that research indicates that trucks in the port area add less than 4% to the region’s air pollution problems, Roger Ramirez, president of HTSF, says, “Our group wants to ensure decisions are made on the best information available and with input from our industry. The current proposal is poorly researched and unnecessarily targets working class people, most of whom are Latino.”