Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time to Clean Up Port Trucking Industry

As you may have heard, change is afoot on the port. Phoenix Beverages has replaced American Stevedoring as the operator of the Red Hook Container Terminal.

What haven't changed are CoWNA's concerns about the port: the salt pile, truck traffic and pollution. The Brooklyn Eagle recently published a letter from CoWNA about the pollution issue:
The port is an environmental asset for New York. On balance, it pollutes less than other ways of transporting goods to our region. But the port is a dirty business for the Columbia Waterfront and Red Hook.

One of our biggest problems is port truck pollution. Many port trucking companies misclassify their drivers as independent contractors and force them to buy their own vehicles. They pay the drivers so little that they can only afford the oldest and dirtiest trucks.

The Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association and our allies in the Coalition for Healthy Ports believe it is time to clean up the port trucking industry.

Phoenix Beverages, the new port operator, could be another important ally in this fight. Or it could be an obstacle. The good news is that the company has a record of negotiating with the community and is even committed to decreasing pollution from its private truck fleet. Here's hoping that Phoenix continues to be a good neighbor.

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