A federal appeals court has ordered the Department of Transportation to study what impact Mexican trucks will have on the environment before the border opens. In a ruling handed down Jan. 16, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the agency to do further studies after several safety, labor and environmental groups sued.
The Bush administration has vowed to open U.S. highways to Mexican trucking companies as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. More than 90 Mexican carriers were poised to begin operations here once the DOT approved their safety programs.
The court concluded the DOT “acted without regard to well-established United States environmental laws.” The DOT can appeal the decision. It is unclear now if the agency will go forward with safety inspections.