Goods movement update

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 15, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Traffic congestion and air quality concerns at and near the California ports in Los Angeles/ Long Beach have energized legislators and the administration to focus on solutions to the complicated problems surrounding goods movement in the state.

The committee analysis for SB 764 (Lowenthal), one of the many port related bills this year, notes that "the ports of Long Beach/Los Angeles are the single largest source of air pollution in the South Coast Air Basin.  The problem is that no single agency is responsible or accountable for this pollution or taking action to reduce it.  The sources at the ports are largely unregulated:  ocean-going vessels, locomotives, and heavy-duty vehicles.  
The volume of goods moving through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has quadrupled in the last seven years and is projected to expand by a similar amount during the next 15 years.  These goods are transported from the ports primarily by diesel fueled trucks.   During the next twenty years, the ports will experience a growth from 35,000 vehicles per day to nearly 83,000 vehicles per day."

Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2042 by Senator Alan Lowenthal (D – Long Beach) which would have limited growth at the ports to protect local air quality.  The Governor instead encouraged CalEPA and Business, Transportation and Housing agencies to work together to develop solutions. The policy statement issued by the agencies states, in part: 

"Improving the movement of goods in California is among the highest priorities for Governor Schwarzenegger.  The administration’s goal is to generate jobs, increase mobility and relieve traffic congestion, enhance public and port safety and improve Californians quality of life."

The agencies have hosted meetings up and down the state with interested stakeholders. Information on their progress

CMTA is a member of CalTrade, a coalition to support rational policies relating to California ports and goods movement.  CalTrade is currently opposed to many bills, including the following Senator Lowenthal legislation related to port activities: SB 760 to impose container fees, SB 761 to require trucks to have quick turn times, SB 762 to create a "medallion" program for port truckers, SB 763 to give priority to low-sulfur fuel vessels and SB 764, a replay of last year’s AB 2042.

Finally, Senate Pro Tem Don Perata (D – Oakland) has introduced SB 1024 to create a $7.7 billion general obligation bond for transportation infrastructure, including $2.5 billion for ports infrastructure ($2 billion matching funds), emissions reductions and security improvements. The bond would also repay loans made to the general fund from Prop 42 accounts, improve levees and make other road and environmental improvements. Under a companion bill SB 172, Senator Tom Torlakson (D – Antioch) the state’s share of costs for the Bay Bridge would be paid from this bond.

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