Coalition for Healthy Ports Calls on Port Authority to Clean Up Deadly Diesel Emissions

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Zero Emission Now!



Demands Reinstatement of Planned Dirty Truck Ban Originally Schedule for January 2017


The Coalition for Healthy Ports (CHP) demands reinstatement of the Port Authority of NY & NJ’S (PANYNJ) dirty truck ban originally planned to go into effect in January 2017 to significantly reduce diesel emissions and corresponding adverse health impacts as the port continues to grow.

According to a report released by CHP in advance of the PANYNJ’s Master Plan meeting in Jersey City today, a dramatic increase in the risk of premature death from exposure to diesel emissions from trucks serving the Ports of NY&NJ will result from the Port Authority’s decision to not enforce its previously enacted ban on older trucks. The older, dirtier trucks that the PANYNJ continues to permit to enter the Ports will produce ten times more deadly fine particulate matter (PM2.5) than would have been the case if they carried through on their original plan (2009) to ban these trucks.

CHP calls on the PANYNJ to: (1) implement clean truck programs funded by container fees, (2) incentivize faster clean truck replacements with port container fee waivers, and (3) adopt diesel emissions-reduction policies similar to those in California that can dramatically decrease harmful pollution across the entire goods movement industry.

“It is unconscionable that the PANYNJ, an agency that actively pours huge resources into expanding the port, catering to the shippers, terminal operators and trucking companies, abandoned their promise to protect communities and workers who bear the burden of diesel pollution everyday with their lives and health.  Our expert study shows that it will take 15 years to clean up port truck emissions whereas if the PANYNJ fulfilled its original promise to ban older trucks, we would have achieved a 90% reduction starting January 2017 when the Clean Trucks program was supposed to go into effect,” said Amy Goldsmith, Chair, Coalition for Healthy Ports and NJ State Director of Clean Water Action.  

The statistics around asthma rates in the City of Newark are appalling. Compared to their suburban neighbors, Newark school children are nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized due to asthma. The science clearly links diesel exhaust and this chronic public health concern – and the solution is simple. The Port Authority must be a good neighbor and uphold their commitment to ban the older, most polluting trucks from driving through Newark today,” said Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark. 

View Executive Summary and full report at:

Fact Sheet on Report Findings and Demands Available at:

Additionally, CHP made available a comprehensive policy briefing book for NJ’s gubernatorial candidates on measures needed to address the port's impacts on public health, communities' quality of life, working conditions, and good governance.

For CHP’s comprehensive briefing book, go to:

"PANYNY should protect communities by taking all reasonable measures to reduce emissions of deadly particulate matter and other air pollution connected to its operations," said  Laureen Boles, Director, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance.

“Diesel exhaust from port trucks in our neighborhoods is a known cause of lung cancer, asthma and heart attacks, and harm to the growing bodies and brains of our children,” said Robert Laumbach M.D., M.P.H., C.I.H., Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Rutgers School of Public Health and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute  Office:  848-445-6084  

"As we can see in the report being released today, the PANYNJ's discontinuation of the Truck Replacement Program (TRP) is a prioritization of profit over the health and well-being of the people who work, play, and live in the Port's "host communities". Newark is my home and the Port Authority is a guest that is calling the shots. The PANYNJ continues to make decisions, with grave consequence, without considering our input," said Melissa Miles, Organizer, Environmental Justice and Community Development, Ironbound Community Corporation.  Office: 973-817-7013 x 212; Cell: 862-763-2903

“The scheme of requiring America’s port drivers to shoulder the cost of moving much needed goods from the ports to area warehouses in large shipping containers, and doing it with new clean trucks, has been exposed as indentured servitude and resulted in countless lawsuits and claims – and 15 strikes – by drivers at the largest port complex in the U.S. The treatment of the over 7,000 drivers serving Ports of New York/New Jersey is no better. These skilled professionals are compensated on average about $28,000 (pre-tax) per year for countless hours of work – well below the minimum wage – and they are in no financial position to buy newer, cleaner trucks.  We need a clean truck program that puts the costs for cleaning the air on the companies and their retail customers, not on the drivers,” said Fred Potter, Port Division Director, International Brotherhood of Teamsters,   (732) 888-0100 x115

 “Why is this report important to people of faith? Because it reveals an immoral public policy decision that inflicts increased harm on God's people. We need policies that are good for people and God's gift of creation,” said Sue Smith, Advocacy Associate, GreenFaith


Coalition for Healthy Ports (CHP) is a bi-state alliance of environmental activists, truck drivers, faith leaders, labor unions and community advocates fighting for environmental and economic justice at the ports of New York and New Jersey.




Amy Goldsmith