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.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)