The American Trucking Association made good on their promise to file a lawsuit against the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach yesterday over the proposed plan to implement cleaner trucks by forcing drivers to purchase and maintain their own vehicles, according to reports. The Long Beach Harbor Commission is also listed as a defendant.
The truckers think that the plan favors trucking companies, which they feel should be footing the bill for the expensive trucks. They have been threatening to sue over the plan since its inception in April of 2007. The Clean Trucks Program is set to be implemented on October 1 of this year.
From the Associated Press:
“It’s a barrier to entry,” said Curtis Whalen of the Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference, an affiliate of the 37,000-member association. “We don’t think the ports have the legal ability to do that.”
How is this affecting the Port of Long Beach’s plans to continue with the October 1 deadline? Not at all:
“We feel that the program is legally defensible and we see no problem in continuing to move forward with this plan,” said Lee Peterson, a spokesman for the Port of Long Beach.
Both cities passed plans earlier this year aimed at reducing truck pollution at the ports by as much as 80 percent. The plans would require trucks to meet tougher 2007 federal emissions standards by Jan. 12, 2012, along with a $35 cargo fee to pay for the newer, cleaner-running trucks.
“We are committed to rolling ahead with the world’s most ambitious and bold plan to simultaneously green and grow a port,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement in response to the lawsuit.
In a recorded interview with Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster two weeks ago, LBPOST.com columnist asked how the city will defend itself against a likely lawsuit.
“I think the Port can say, ‘Look, we’re limiting the pollution-causing equipment coming out of our property because we can’t expand unless we do that, and in fact, our business can’t grow unless we do that, or even sustain itself,'” Mayor Foster said.
“I think we’ve done everything to give ourselves the best chance of winning.”
See the video below:
By Ryan ZumMallen, Managing Editor