NY port starts truck replacement program

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today, March 10, launched a program to replace up to 636 of the oldest, most polluting trucks serving the port with newer models that generate less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The $28 million program is designed to encourage owners of pre-1994 drayage trucks that regularly serve the port to buy newer vehicles. The program is partly funded by a $7 million EPA grant, with the remainder coming from Port Authority funds. 

The bistate agency also announced a truck phase-out plan in which pre-1994 model trucks would no longer be able to call on Port Authority marine terminals beginning Jan. 1, 2011. Trucks not equipped with engines that meet or exceed 2007 federal emissions standards will no longer be able to call on the terminals beginning on Jan. 1, 2017.

Under the program, trucks drivers will be eligible for the following assistance:
• A 25 percent grant toward the total purchase price of a replacement truck – averaging between $20,000 and $60,000 – which must be model year 2004 to 2008, equipped with an engine model year 2004 to 2007.
• Low-interest financing (5.25 percent over five years) for up to 75 percent of the total purchase price of a replacement truck.

Information and pre-applications for grants and financial assistance to cover the cost of a new truck will be available at the Truck Replacement Center in Elizabeth, N.J., or online at www.replacemytruck.org or in Spanish at www.cambiamicamion.org.

The Truck Replacement Program is part of the clean air strategy developed by the Port Authority in partnership with a broad group of port industry leaders, federal and state regulatory agencies, city officials and environmental groups to develop strategies to reduce emissions from all port related sources and improve air quality in the region.

The program is modeled after the Clean Trucks program under way at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Los Angeles’ program also includes a requirement that drayage truck drivers are employees of concession companies, a provision that is being challenged in court by the American Trucking Associations.