July 26, 2008 / 1:37 AM / 10 years ago

Truckers to sue L.A. ports over pollution plan

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The American Trucking Associations said it plans to file a federal law suit on Monday against the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to stop new rules for truckers designed to decrease diesel fuel pollution.

The Port of Los Angeles’ plan, coming into effect in October, would ban independent truckers from entering the port. The ATA argues it is an attempt to squeeze out independent motor carriers in favor of larger trucking companies.

The program also requires trucking companies to hand over more information to the ports.

The Port of Long Beach’s plan will continue to allow independent truckers.

“The crux of the suit is that this kind of plan instituted by the ports is at odds with Congress’ objective that motor carriers will be shaped by market forces to stimulate efficiency, low prices, variety and quality,” said Clayton Boyce, an ATA spokesman.

But both the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports aim to move ahead with their clean air initiatives despite the ATA’s impending lawsuit.

“We’re planning to move forward with a clean trucks program,” said Port of Long Beach spokesman Art Wong. “The air pollution from these trucks is a serious problem and we want to handle it now,” he said.

The association will argue that the measures amount to interfering with how trucking companies operate and violates a 1995 federal law on interstate commerce.

Reporting by Jennifer Martinez; Editing by Peter Henderson and Carol Bishopric

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