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Public Health is No. 1, Says U.S. District Judge in Denial of FMC Motion to Shelve the LA-LB Clean Trucks Programs
Date:4/16/2009

"Protecting the public health is at the heart of this program, and it is paramount to all other concerns," said David Pettit, Director of the Southern California Air Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. "All Californians should appreciate that a court on the other side of the country recognized our need to get these dirty trucks off the road once and for all. The only way to do that is to make well-capitalized companies -- not low-wage workers -- responsible for a new, clean-burning fleet."

The opinion comes just as the Los Angeles Times today reported that a broad public health, environmental, community, labor and faith-based coalition has called on Members of Congress to continue to help protect the Los Angeles model for port trucking nationwide. The blue-green alliance is bracing for the possibility that industry clean-air opponents that brought a separate suit may succeed in creating roadblocks to the life-saving programs in a Los Angeles court on April 27.

The LA policy requires trucking firms to apply for concessions and take responsibility for new vehicles by legitimately employing their drivers. The comprehensive policy also includes generous subsidies funded by cargo container fees for truck purchases, along with powerful incentives that will help get alternative fuel trucks on the road quicker and jump start a new market. The Long Beach Port also relies on a concession plan, but has come under fire by environmental groups because the burden of replacing some 16,000 old diesel trucks remains on the backs of individual "independent" haulers who average $29,000 a year, rather than companies who are in a financial position to replace and properly maintain clean-fuel trucks.

The nation's largest trucking lobby opposes both plans, and successfully argued to a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel that their desire to maintain a deregulated industry outweighs the pu
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SOURCE Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports
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