Rep. Jerrold Nadler reintroduced his bill, the Clean Ports Act, to give ports more authority over drayage operations. The New York Democrat introduced the measure last year but Congress did not act on it, so he is now offering it again.
Nadler's Bill could give the Port of Los Angeles the green light to proceed with its concession plan under which owner-operators would be banned from providing drayage services.
Under current law, states and local authorities such as ports are barred from regulating truck prices, routes or service. Nadler's Clean Ports Act would create an exemption to let these entities set requirements "reasonably related" to improving pollution, congestion, safety operations at ports.
This change could give the Port of Los Angeles the green light to proceed with its concession plan under which owner-operators would be banned from providing drayage service and all drivers would have to be employees of companies.
Currently the LA Port is temporarily barred from implementing the employee driver requirement of the plan pending a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in response to a petition by American Trucking Associations.
"The Clean Ports Act represents a crucial modernization of federal law that would dramatically improve the quality of air for the estimated 87 million Americans who live and work near major container ports," said Rep. Nadler in a statement.
The bill will be referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where it faces an uncertain future due to the committee's immediate focus on passing legislation to reauthorize the federal aviation and highway programs.