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USWC truckers threaten Seattle and Tacoma ports lockdown

Staff Writer |
Truck drivers who service the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are organizing a walkout in protest of a proposed April 1 deadline that restricts port access to allow only newer, cleaner-burning diesel trucks, according to Crosscut.

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The drivers argue that upgrading their trucks to meet new emissions standards will drive them out of business.

Seaport Alliance – the seaport formed to unite the once adversarial ports of Seattle and Tacoma – spokesperson Tara Mattina said: “We recognize this is a really complicated issue and it’s unlikely we can make everyone happy.

“We’re trying our best to find that compromise that still works toward reducing air emissions related to trucks and addresses some of (the drivers’) issues as well.”

The US West Coast (USWC) has had severe problems with trucking strikes, with a long-lasting and tense standoff between truckers and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach causing huge delays in the 2014/15 Winter.

During the 2014/15 standoff, cargo ships were marooned outside of ports awaiting entry for days on end in what seemed to be a hopeless situation.

Eventually the issue was resolved, however the lockdown ended up costing the ports financially in the short and long term.

A bill is presently being proposed to US State Legislature which could take the decision regarding clean truck rules out of the hands of port officials.

The House Bill 2601 proposes to bar diesel trucks that do not meet 2007 federal emissions standards from working at the ports (starting January 1, 2019).

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