Los Angeles port delays program enforcement

Jill Dunn | September 10, 2010

Although a federal judge has ruled for Port of Los Angeles to enforce its Clean Truck Program, the port will not immediately begin to do so.

On Aug. 30, Executive Director Geraldine Knatz’s memo to board members noted the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, still had to issue a final judgment before full enforcement could begin. The court’s previous temporary injunction against certain program elements remains active until then. 

The American Trucking Associations, which had brought the suit, plans to appeal.

Port staffers are working on a plan that “may include reasonable extensions of time for compliance” for Sept. 27 board meeting, Knatz wrote.

The court upheld the port’s requirements Aug. 26, including its concessionaire agreement carriers must sign to work the port. The ATA, has condoned the stricter truck standards to meet emissions goals, but had sued over other program aspects, including requiring all drivers be employees and preferential hiring rules.

Curtis Whalen, executive director of the ATA’s Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference, said the final order is expected soon. “We then have two weeks to file an appeal seeking to keep the injunction in place pending the appeal,” Whalen said.

Many ports have said they want to use the Los Angeles model and have waited for the outcome of this case before proceeding. To that end, a congressional hearing on the matter was held in May and a House bill was introduced in July to provide a federal exemption for ports to use this plan.

Out-of-state and infrequent licensed motor carriers not having a concession agreement with the Los Angeles port will be permitted up to 24 day passes annually. The charge is $30 each and they must have an RFID tag.