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Judge Sides With Ports On Clean Trucks

porttruck.jpgThe American Trucking Associations recently filed a lawsuit challenging plans by L.A. port officials to ban pre-1989 trucks from its port. This week Federal Judge Christina Snyder denied the request, writing in her decision that the L.A. port program has safety and environmental benefits, AP reports (via Mercury News).

The ATA says it will seek immediate review of U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder’s denial.

ATA says it opposes the concession agreements but supports the Ports Clean Truck Programs, including the phased retirement of older trucks from the port operations and their replacement with newer, cleaner vehicles. The Port concession agreements that ATA opposes are simply not needed to meet the Ports environmental goals.

The Coalition for Responsible Transportation also responded to the judge’s ruling, writing in a statement:

While today’s ruling sets the stage for a continued legal fight, CRT is taking another route, working to put cleaner trucks on the road to reduce emissions in and around the Ports.  CRT and its members – who have already purchased or ordered more than one thousand clean trucks to serve the San Pedro Bay ports – will continue to purchase clean diesel and LNG trucks.  CRT members understand the need for additional Port fees to help offset the cost of putting newer, cleaner trucks on the road, and we are committed to meeting current and 2010 EPA standards in advance so that we may provide cleaner, safer, and more reliable goods movement at the Port.

The ban is part of green transformations two of America’s largest ports are undergoing, and is scheduled to start Oct. 1.

In July, port officials in Los Angeles and Long Beach launched a program to clean up the polluted twin ports, offering greenbacks to go green. The program aims to slash GHG emissions roughly in half by 2012 by requiring container-ships to use cleaner fuels while idling in port; replacing old polluting trucks with electric trucks; and introducing the world’s first hybrid tugboat, Newsweek reports.

As part of the plan, the two ports will ban trucks built before 1989. By 2012 trucks that don’t meet the 2007 diesel standards will also be banned. Both ports will provide up to 80 percent of the purchase price of the clean trucks. L.A. officials say they will pay an additional $5,000 for pre-1989 trucks.

The plan will cost the twin ports at least $18 million this year. Revamped state regulations are expected to start next July, at which time all ships will be forced to burn cleaner fuel without subsidies. The move is expected to reduce ship emissions by 80 percent, according to state officials.

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