Court orders Long Beach port to do more work

Environmental and labor groups last week won a round in court against the Port of Long Beach in regard to its 2009 settlement with the American Trucking Associations over the port’s Clean Trucks Program.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club went to court over the port’s plan to cut out some provisions and use less restrictive contracts over how to enforce a ban on the oldest, dirtiest trucks working the harbor.

ATA objected to the programs enacted in 2008 at both the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and took its case to federal court. The case against the Los Angeles port continues, but the Long Beach port settled.

Federal District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder ruled July 15 the port should have researched the environmental impacts before settling with ATA. The decision means port officials must conduct a study under the California Environmental Quality Act to evaluate whether more environmental analysis is necessary to understand the effects of its settlement with ATA.

Richard Steinke, port executive director, said, “We continue to stand behind this successful program, both in the air quality results and the process by which that success was achieved. Our Clean Trucks Program has been a major environmental success, reducing truck pollution by 80 percent so far. We’ve replaced thousands of older trucks with new cleaner models.”

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