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September 25, 2008 10:10 AM, EDT

Court Ruling Green-Lights SoCal Ports’ Clean Trucks Plan

A federal appeals court Wednesday denied a motion to block a clean trucks program at the Southern California ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, allowing the sister ports to begin implementation of the program Oct. 1, the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times newspaper reported.

The ruling is the second this month in favor of the ports’ plan to cut diesel emissions from trucks operating there by 80% over the next five years, the paper reported.

American Trucking Associations, in tandem with retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, had sought to block enforcement portions of the plan, saying it was unconstitutional and would cause financial harm to trucking and shipping, the paper said.

ATA’s call for an injunction was dismissed by a federal judge in Los Angeles Sept. 10 and was rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday, the Times reported.

The court ruled ATA had failed to establish it would be “irreparably injured absent an injunction,” the paper said.

Port authorities are preparing to begin implementation of the program Oct. 1, when pre-1989 rigs will be barred from entering waterfront marine terminals as a first step, the Times reported.

The ban continues incrementally through Jan. 1, 2012, when only trucks meeting 2007 Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards will be allowed access to the two ports, which make up the largest U.S. port complex.