The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has backed off of a proposed plan to ban older trucks because they say that they underestimated how much it would cost them to do so.
Five years ago, the Port Authority and the EPA announced that they would ban entry to any truck that did not meet the 2007 federal emission standards — a move that would impact about 6300 trucks.
As the deadline came closer, the Port Authority realized that they would have to come up with $150 million in grant money to help replace the older trucks. A spokesman for the Port Authority said, “nobody realized the scope of the issue then compared to today.” 70% of the total trucks that operate at the port do not meet the 2007 emission standards.
Instead, the Port Authority will spend a little over $1 million (in addition to about $9 million from federal sources) to help about 400 owner-operators replace older trucks. Trucks that were made before 2007 will still be able to pick up and drop off loads so long as they are already registered at the port by March 2016. Trucks that are older than 2007 and not registered will not be allowed to enter the facilities. Additionally, about 400 trucks with engines built before 1996 will be banned from the port as of January 1, 2018.
Environmental advocates are angered by the move and say that the Port Authority had sufficient information about truck numbers in 2010 to be able to make the commitment to ban older trucks. They say that the ban would have reduced emissions at the ports by 90%.