Up to 1,000 independent truckers at the Port of Oakland will be out of work by January 1 because of the port's new ban on older, dirty diesel trucks. The truckers had hoped to receive public funding to buy new trucks or retrofit their existing ones, but the Bay Area Air Quality Management District ran out of money, the Trib reports.
A coalition of environmentalists and labor had predicted that this would happen. And that's why they're pushing Congress to change the nation's trucking laws to allow the port to sign concession agreements with larger trucking companies that can afford to buy new trucks or retrofit old ones. But the trucking industry has opposed that effort, despite the hardships now facing small truckers.
The port implemented the dirty truck ban in response to regulations adopted by the California Air Resources Board. The port also recognized that diesel-belching trucks have caused serious health problems in West Oakland over the years, particularly among low-income children.