Fleet Management

LA Port Clean-Truck Case Goes to Trial

April 20, 2010

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The anticipated Port of Los Angeles clean-truck case got under way Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
The American Trucking Associations sued the Port of Angeles over the legality of its
The American Trucking Associations sued the Port of Angeles over the legality of its
The American Trucking Associations sued the Port of Angeles over the legality of its "concession requirements" as part of its Clean Truck Program.

While District Judge Christina Snyder heard testimonies starting Tuesday, Cameron W. Roberts, a partner in the Los Angeles law firm Roberts Kehagiaras believes the trial could take years and will most likely involve an appeal process, according to reports by the Journal of Commerce.

Last year, Snyder granted ATA a preliminary injunction against certain concessions, including a ban on owner-operators at the Port. The owner-operator ban and other concession requirements are unrelated to the environment or safety, the ATA argues. The ATA does support the Clean Truck Program's environmental goals, however.

The ATA also argues that the Clean Truck Program at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has achieved its clean air goals, without these requirements. The program has cut truck emissions by 80 percent so far, two years ahead of schedule. The program set out to reduce port pollution through the retirement of older diesel engines. Currently, the San Pedro Bay port has more than 6,500 clean trucks servicing the port.

"The Port of Los Angeles, which according to news reports could be on the verge of bankruptcy, is nevertheless apparently using taxpayer dollars to fight for the Teamsters proposal to ban owner-operators, which would make unionizing drivers easier," the ATA said on its web site. "The Port of Los Angeles has spent to date about $8 million for litigation and more than $265,000 for U.S. Congressional lobbying for the Teamsters-endorsed driver ban requirement."

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