The Port of Long Beach and the American Trucking Associations settled a trucking industry lawsuit against the concession requirement in the port’s clean-truck program, the port announced Monday, ending a year of contentious litigation and leaving Los Angeles to fend for itself in the legal case.
The neighboring Port of Los Angeles is not a party to the settlement and ATA will continue its lawsuit challenging the port’s concession requirements, and particularly an employee-driver mandate that could potentially lead to the unionization of harbor truck drivers.
Long Beach, which never supported Los Angeles in the employee-driver issue, settled the lawsuit with ATA by agreeing to replace its entire concession plan for motor carriers with a registration agreement.
Motor carriers will agree to comply with the environmental, safety and security requirements in Long Beach in exchange for permission to register with the port’s Drayage Truck Registry and perform harbor drayage. Motor carriers will also agree to equip their trucks with radio frequency identification tags, the port said.
Since motor carriers will provide the port registry with all pertinent information on the company, the vehicle and the driver, Long Beach will be able to “strictly oversee and enforce motor carriers’ compliance with federal, state and port safety, security and environmental regulations,” ATA said.
ATA and Long Beach each acknowledged that the port’s clean truck plan will continue to phase in a ban of older trucks until all drayage in the harbor is performed with trucks that meet the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for 2007-model trucks.
The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles launched their clean-truck programs Oct. 1, 2008, with the goal of reducing harmful diesel emissions by 80 percent over the ensuing five years.
The plans were similar in many aspects, including a requirement that motor carriers register with the ports and sign a concession agreement. The concession agreements included requirements for off-street parking of trucks, financial oversight by the ports and other operational details.
ATA challenged the concession requirements as being preempted by federal law providing that only the federal government can regulate companies engaged in interstate commerce. The Port of Los Angeles is lobbying Congress to change the federal preemption provision for harbor trucking.
In a brief statement, the Port of Los Angeles said it is not a party to the ATA settlement with Long Beach and remains in the litigation.
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