Arlington, Va. – Today the NRDC announced it was filing suit against the City of Long Beach to overturn a settlement with the ATA that ended litigation over the Port of Long Beach truck concession plan.
Long Beach settled the lawsuit after the U.S. District Court of Appeals declared the concession plan illegal.
“ATA cannot comment on the NRDC’s lawsuit itself, because we have not seen it. But the legal issues that the NRDC raises in their press release have already been considered and rejected as baseless by the City of Long Beach. The press release also contains many inaccuracies that denigrate the Port’s highly successful Clean Truck Program,” said Clayton Boyce, ATA’s Press Secretary and Vice President for Public Affairs.
The settlement agreement between the ATA and Long Beach did not make any change that would reduce, let alone reverse, the Port’s progress in cleaning the air. What is cleaning the air is the progressive banning of older trucks. The settlement agreement with the ATA gives the Port of Long Beach everything it needs, and everything it wanted, to continue banning older trucks. The port has the control. If the truck does not meet the requirements, the Port of Long Beach will not let it in the gate, Boyce said.
The real story is this: The Port of Long Beach has significantly reduced air pollution. The Port of Long Beach recently achieved its best air quality report card since emissions studies began in 2002, a Port spokesman said. Similar air quality improvements have occurred at the adjoining Port of Los Angeles. The Air Emissions Inventory is a comprehensive accounting of emissions from Port of Long Beach-related cargo movement and is developed with the cooperation and participation of Port tenants and shipping lines.
The trucking industry-supported Clean Truck Programs at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have retired older diesel trucks and have reduced truck pollution by 80 percent, putting the ports’ clean air programs 2 years ahead of schedule. The Ports estimate that nearly 8,000 older diesel trucks have been retired since the program’s implementation. The reduction of truck pollution has come without banning small independent businesses from port trucking, something the Port of Los Angeles is attempting to do to benefit the Teamsters.
David Pettit, the NRDC and the Sierra Club intend to force the Port of Long Beach (and every other port in the nation) to ban independent owner operators in order to make all port drivers company employees who can be organized by the Teamsters. The NRDC is lashing out in anger at the Port of Long Beach because it refused to ban owner-operators.
The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.
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