LOS ANGELES (July 28, 2008) – In an effort that, if successful, will damage and delay port commerce and development, the American Trucking Association filed suit today against the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, attempting to block a clean trucks plan both ports are planning to implement as of October 1, 2008. Plans adopted by both ports to replace 16,000 dirty, diesel-polluting trucks will provide significant clean air gains for residents. Representing itself, the Coalition for Clean Air, and the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council will ask the court for permission to intervene on behalf of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to protect the ports’ clean trucks plans.
Both Los Angeles and Long Beach clean trucks plans support their joint goal to reduce diesel truck emissions at the ports by 85 percent by 2013. Beginning October 1, 2008, some of the oldest and dirtiest trucks made before 1989 were scheduled to be replaced with new, clean trucks made in 2007. Clean air plans adopted by the ports ensure billions of funds from container fees and state bond money are directed toward paying for nearly 80 percent of the costs to buy and maintain the new trucks.
Following is a statement by David Pettit, director of NRDC’s Southern California Clean Air Program:
“Port commerce is expected to double or triple over the next 15 years. ATA’s lawsuit stands in the way of that progress while residents continue to suffer from life-threatening respiratory diseases and air pollution deaths are up across the state. We plan to fight on the behalf of the ports to protect their clean trucks plan and make the air better for local residents.”
“Clean trucks will mean clean air for port residents. The day we begin to get the dirty, diesel belching trucks off the road and replace them with lower emission, fuel-efficient models is the day harbor residents will breathe easier. This has been our goal the entire time in promoting the clean trucks plan at both ports.”