The upholding of four of the concession requirements in the Port of Los Angeles’ clean-trucks plan by U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in September should not be overturned, the port stated in a brief filed Tuesday with the Supreme Court.
Los Angeles filed its brief in response to a suit filed by the American Trucking Associations asking the Supreme Court to review the 9th Circuit’s ruling upholding the port’s harbor trucking concession requirements regarding off-street parking, the use of placards, a truck maintenance mandate and proof of financial responsibility for motor carriers.
The Port of Los Angeles said the Supreme Court should deny ATA’s petition for certiorari, stating that the concession requirements in the clean-trucks plan were established by the port for business purposes. The port therefore qualifies for the market participation exemption to federal preemption law, Los Angeles stated.
In its brief, Los Angeles stated that its concession requirements are normal proprietary actions taken by a business entity to protect its investments and market presence. The port noted that it invested almost $60 million in grants to motor carriers to help them purchase clean, new trucks. Also, the port argued that its requirement for truck maintenance is directly related to safety, which also gives the port an exemption from federal preemption law.
ATA in 2008 filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles challenging the clean-trucks programs of the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Long Beach later settled with the ATA.
The trucking association charged that certain requirements established by the Port of Los Angeles for motor carriers wishing to haul containers to and from the port were illegal because they constituted an attempt by the port to regulate motor carriers. Federal preemption law prohibits state or local regulation of motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce.
The district court ruled largely in favor of the port. The 9th Circuit, on appeal, struck down the port’s concession requirement banning owner-operator truckers from the harbor, but upheld four other requirements involving off-street parking, placards, truck maintenance and proof of financial responsibility.