The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports kicked off their controversial truck replacement programs two weeks ago, but the battles over the environmental plan have not stopped.

Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has reached out to the Federal Maritime Commission, asking them not to block the program, which aims to slash diesel truck emissions by as much as 80 percent.

The commission, which regulates international shipping, is currently assessing whether the costs associated with the program hinder international commerce. The commission has until Nov. 2 to decide if it will ask a judge to block the program.

The environmental benefits of the plan, Feinstein said in a letter to the federal agency, outweigh the potential drawbacks of rising shipping rates.

"I believe it would be a mistake for the FMC to assert in federal court that this is the first agreement in the commission's history to reduce competition to the point that it unreasonably increases the cost of transportation," she said in the letter.

The ports began the $2.2 billion effort Oct. 1 by banning all trucks manufactured before 1989. The multi-year effort will culminate in 2012 when all pre-2007 trucks are restricted from the harbor.

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