A U.S. District Court judge said no Monday to a trucking industry group seeking to stop the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach from starting their landmark Clean Trucks Program on Oct. 1.
The American Trucking Association had sought a preliminary injunction to halt the program, which requires trucking firms to obtain a concession, retire older model trucks and dispatch only drivers who have undergone a security background check and obtained a federal transportation worker identification credential.
The association alleged the ports are attempting to impose restrictions on motor carriers in violation of federal law. At a hearing Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder rejected imposing the injunction.
Long Beach Port President James Hankla said the ruling was an important step toward cleaning up the air and better securing the ports.
"Concessions are a key element of our Clean Trucks Program so that we can ring a new generation of clean trucks and clean air to this region, and so we can begin a new era in port security," said Hankla said in a statement.
As of Oct. 1 all trucks built in 1988 or prior will be prohibited from carrying goods in and out of the ports. Also, the ports will begin assessing a fee of $35 per 20-foot-long cargo container to fund a financial assistance program that will help truck owners buy cleaner trucks. By 2012, all trucks entering port terminals must have engines that meet 2007 federal emission standards, which are 80 percent cleaner than today's engines.
"ATA is in favor of the clean truck program, despite what port lawyers and Teamsters say," said Clayton Boyce, association spokesman. "Our lawsuit challenged only the concession plans which have nothing to do with clean air."
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