The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s largest and the main entry point for goods from Asia, are facing another challenge to the implementation of their Clean Trucks Program.
The Federal Maritime Commission is seeking more information from the ports about how plans to collect a $35 fee per 20-foot container would affect competitiveness, transportation costs and services. As a result of the panel’s request, the ports cannot begin collecting the additional fee until 45 days after they have submitted the information and documents.
“Given the significant changes in the nation’s economic situation, the commission must continue to fulfill its statutory obligations to ensure that the agreement will not unreasonably reduce competition in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” the federal panel said. “Such reduction would raise prices at a time when the American consumer can least afford any added costs and at a time when independent owner operators can least afford to be driven out of the port.”
The Clean Trucks Program seeks to lower air pollution 80 percent by 2012. On Oct. 1, all truck models older than 1988 were barred from the port complex. Truck models manufactured between 1989 and 1993 and models from 1994 to 2003 that haven’t been retrofitted will be banned as of Jan. 1. The ports are counting on the container fee program to raise about $1 million a day, or as much as $1 billion over the next several years, to finance the replacement of 17,000 trucks.
Ports officials denounced the commission’s request for answers to 20 questions on the fee program, calling it a stall tactic and noting that the ports had already responded to a previous set of questions. It is the second 45-day waiting period triggered by the commission.
“This truck financing fee is a critical, long-planned part of our Clean Trucks Program to protect the public health and improve air quality and security,” said Richard Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach.
Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said, “This ruling by just two of three FMC commissioners — made again behind closed doors — is a misuse of the FMC’s administrative process to stop the implementation of our Clean Trucks Program. The FMC is attempting to take the decision regarding their legal challenges away from the courts by administratively imposing what is, in effect, it’s own injunction to stop our Clean Trucks Program.
“Despite providing extensive information to the FMC and requesting that they provide a specific analysis of their concerns about our program, our efforts have not been reciprocated constructively by the FMC, which seems to prefer litigation to communication,” Knatz said.
The commission filed a federal lawsuit on Oct. 31 challenging portions of the program. U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon has said he will rule on whether to grant the federal panel’s request for a preliminary injunction in 2009.
Knatz said the commission has consistently waited until the end of the 45-day review periods to ask for information. She also noted that only three commissioners are serving on what is supposed to be a five-member board.
The ports expect to respond to the questions within several days.
“With the current credit crisis, it will be impossible for truckers to replace all their trucks without our financial assistance program,” Steinke said. “Every day’s delay will make it harder for truck owners to meet our deadlines.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews