Oakland to Drivers: Keep On Trucking

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums will join officials from state and local  agencies and various trucking and community organizations Monday morning to  announce an extension on a deadline for truckers serving the Port of Oakland  to comply with tough new emissions standards.
The extension period will help avert a planned work stoppage by  the truck drivers, who are required to retrofit or replace trucks that do not  meet the new standards.

The extension period, along with $11 million allocated from the  California Air Resources Board earlier this week, is designed to help  truckers adhere to the new standards, which went into effect Friday.

The money from the state air resources board is expected to  provide $5,000 apiece to help pay for more than 1,200 retrofits, and $50,000  for owners of 103 older trucks to buy new ones.

Under the new standards, drayage trucks manufactured in 1993 or  earlier are prohibited from entering ports and other trucks must install a  costly new diesel particulate filter. The measure is intended to clean up the  air and provide healthier living conditions in communities such as West  Oakland that are near ports and rail yards where trucks emit large amounts of  diesel.

Earlier this year, a total of $22 million in funding was obtained  to help truckers pay part of the cost for retrofitting or replacing trucks  that did not meet the new standards.

The funding came from the air district, the Port of Oakland, the  state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

However, many truckers were denied the funds when the initial $22  million ran out.

The extension period expected to be announced Monday will apply to  all trucks that service the Port of Oakland.

Truckers who had applied for the original $22 million but were  denied will have until Friday to express interest in the new funds, and until  Jan. 15 to fill out all the paperwork to apply for the money, according to  Dellums spokesman Paul Rose.

At the end of the two-week period, truckers who have gone through  the process and received a purchase request for a new diesel particulate  filter will be granted waivers to operate at the Port until April 30.

The announcement is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday in Hearing Room 4  on the second floor of Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Along with Dellums, Cynthia Marvin from the California Air  Resources Board, Jack Broadbent from the Bay Area Air Quality Management  District, Omar Benjamin from the Port of Oakland, and representatives from  trucking and community organizations are expected to attend.

Bay City News

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