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Port of L.A.'s 'clean truck' program prevails in court

Ports A federal judge has given the nation's busiest port complex authority to require shipping trucks to reduce air pollution. U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder ruled Thursday that the Port of Los Angeles' Clean Trucks Program can require trucks coming in and out of the port to meet diesel emissions standards.

The American Trucking Assn. sued after the port put the rules in place in 2008, saying that while it supported the clean air goals, the port's regulations violated a federal law prohibiting states and localities from regulating interstate trucking. The port's rules also would have eliminated owner-operator drivers, making it impossible for independent operators to work the harbor.

Snyder said that even though some parts of the port's regulations were pre-empted by the federal government, the port should be able to regulate air pollution to stay competitive in the marketplace. Air pollution has "interfered with port growth and jeopardized the port's continued viability as a commercial enterprise," she wrote.

Both the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports cheered the ruling. NRDC attorney David Pettit, who argued for the program during the trial, said it was a victory of "national significance" because it allowed ports across the country to impose air quality rules.

-- Associated Press

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This is a great time to talk about global warming. Goodness, this will lessen the emitted pollution from trucks. Though this will just be a microscopic change but we'll never know how great things were twisted from small things. Hopefully this law will also be applied to other states.

I'm glad and, quite frankly, surprised that the owner-operator ban was mentioned in this article. This case is 100% about a labor issue, not an environmental one. Analyze the POLB vs. the POLA plan. The MAJOR difference is the owner-operator ban and it's the sole reason POLA ended up in court. Judge Snyder just handed a huge victory to Big Labor over the small business owners they are trying to crush.

The NRDC has, cynically, let itself be used as a trojan horse for labor in exchange for a political alliance labor will ditch the second it becomes inconvenient for them. For what? Notwithstanding either the POLB or POLA plan, California will have the cleanest trucking fleet in America culminating in 2023. When the low hanging fruit is all picked and the tough decisions truly have to be made, we'll see if Labor is willing to carry the NRDC's water for a change.


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