Published 4/16/2009 on Los Angeles Times
In denying a preliminary injunction sought by the Federal Maritime Commission, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the regulators had presented "weak" arguments that the program threatens to cause irreparable harm or to unreasonably increase shipping costs. The busiest ports in the nation, Los Angeles and Long Beach handle 40% of the United States' import and export container traffic.
"This is a clear victory for our clean-truck program and the idea that you can both green and grow the Port of Los Angeles at the same time," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said of the decision.
Key provisions of the clean-trucks program were declared unconstitutional last month by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in a parallel challenge brought by the American Trucking Assn. A ruling is expected April 27 in that case.
The clean-truck program charges a $35-per-container fee to generate funds for dealing with the environmental and health consequences, offering a sliding scale of reductions and exemptions for trucks that meet the most exacting clean-air standards.