Shortly before noon, the group was circling in front of City Hall, chanting slogans. Many carried picket signs that read, "Money promised, not delivered" and "Not a merry X-mas for Oakland truckers."
The protest began at about 9 a.m. at Middle Harbor Road at the Port of Oakland, port spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifur said.
The group is speaking out against new emissions standards, approved last week by the California Air Resources Board, that take effect Jan. 1, 2010. Under the new guidelines, drayage trucks manufactured in 1993 or earlier will be prohibited from entering the port. Other trucks must install a new diesel particulate filter.
A number of agencies, including the Port of Oakland, the state air resources board, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Environmental Protection Agency accumulated $22 million in grants to retrofit or replace trucks that fail to meet the new requirements.
However, about 1,000 trucks remain in violation of the new standards. Without replacement or retrofitting, those vehicles would be banned from entering the port starting Jan. 1.