New Jersey Port Authority Cancels Plan To Ban Older Trucks
There was a lot of noise from the trucking community when the New Jersey Port Authority announced plans to ban older trucks from its premises. The plan was announced in order to lower the amount of emissions which are released by the older trucks and are much worse than newer trucks. Now the noise is coming from environmentalists as they feel betrayed that the plans were cancelled. According to the Port Authority, they are still invested in a cleaner future but they underestimated the amount of money and time it would take to bring older vehicles up to the standard.
Out of the 9000 trucks, which are usually at the port, only 2700 have newer engines with emissions that are acceptable according to the standards. The Port authority has proclaimed that they did not realize the problem was this big and the number of trucks which were up to standards was so low. Since the problem is much bigger than first thought, it would also take much more time to be in a state to implement the ban. “Nobody realized the scope of the issue then compared to today,” according to Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port authority. He further said about the 2010 plan, “When we launched it … we probably didn’t realize we would be dealing with this amount.”
Environmental activists were dumbfounded at the unexpected announcement. “They completely gutted the entire program with no promise to come back,” said Chairwoman Amy Goldsmith, of the Coalition for Healthy Ports, which is a national organization that prominently supported the bill and helped it get funding. “For them to say they didn’t know the scope of the problem is absurd, it’s pretty disingenuous that they didn’t know how many trucks there were or how many grants to give out.” The problem is that older trucks do not have good filters and release some emissions which can cause asthma and other dangerous diseases. Letting older trucks run amok is not the answer either.
The Port Authority could not afford to ban all the trucks that were not compliant with the standards because it would bring the port to a standstill. Banning all the trucks below standards would result in more than 60% of trucks being banned from the port, and will not leave enough trucks behind to cope with the high amount of freight that shows up in New Jersey ports.
Truckers who have been driving trucks for decades and did not expect having to replace expensive parts of their trucks should also not be punished. Instead, it seems the Port Authority will be trying to get more funds so it can get more trucks up to the standard and increase the environmental quality around the port and in the city as well. Goldsmith supports increased funding saying, “One truck pre-2007 is equal to 60 new trucks in terms of emissions; they couldn’t find enough money for this?” Coleman was adamant that the authority was doing all it can, saying “We’re stopping the bleeding, older trucks won’t be added to the registry.” – See more at: http://truckernews.com/new-jersey-port-authority-cancels-plan-to-ban-older-trucks-p686-90.htm#sthash.Hi9RMFvY.dpuf