ATA files appeal over denial of injunction against SoCal truck plan
The American Trucking Associations filed in federal appeals court Thursday seeking to overturn a lower court denial of an injunction sought by the trade group against portions of the Southern California ports' impending trucking re-regulation program.
District Court Judge Christina Snyder ruled Tuesday that the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles successfully proved portions of their trucking plan are exempt from the federal preemption argument made by ATA in its lower court request.
'However, the court, in an overbroad interpretation of the safety exception to Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAA) preemption, sided with the ports and determined that the security aspects of the ports' plans were sufficient to qualify the entire agreements as exempt from preemption,' said ATA in announcing its Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals filing.
ATA officials said Thursday they will also file for an expedited review before the appeals court and expect to be before a court panel prior to the ports' Oct. 1 start date for the $2.4-billion trucking plan.
The plan, which seeks to replace or retrofit the nearly 17,000 privately owned drayage trucks that service the ports with 2007 or newer models, also includes a requirement that trucking firms must apply for and obtain access licenses from the ports.
The ATA, which represents more than 37,000 trucking firms nationwide, sued the ports in July over the access license component arguing that federal interstate commerce laws that govern harbor trucking trump the ports' local authority.
If the appeal court overturns the lower court ruling on the injunction, they could require several actions, including sending the injunction request back to Snyder with admonishment, or even issue an emergency injunction directly from the appeals bench.
According to ATA, if the expedited process is granted, the two ports will have until next week to issue a response to the appeals court. ' Keith Higginbotham