Southern California truck plan injunction hearing set for Sept. 8
A U.S. Circuit Court judge set a Sept. 8 date to hear arguments on an injunction sought by the American Trucking Association against an access license component of the Southern California ports $2.4 billion truck re-regulation program.
The injunction, if granted, would halt the ports' Oct. 1 implementation of the access-licensing program that seeks to determine which trucks can service the two ports' marine terminals. The ports have mandated that only motor carriers that agree to certain ports-defined criteria will be eligible for a ports-issued access license. Under the ports' approved regulations, after Oct. 1, only those trucks that obtain a port access license will be able to enter port facilities. In addition, only trucking firms who obtain an access license will be eligible for a ports-designed truck replacement program.
The injunction is part of an ATA suit brought against the ports and their respective cities last week. ATA, which represents more than 37,000 motor carriers nationwide, claims in its suit that the access license component of the ports' truck plan violates federal interstate commerce laws. The ports disagree and believe that as local authorities they have the right to issue such local regulations.
City attorneys for Long Beach and Los Angeles — in conjunction with two prominent law firms hired by the ports — won a short delay in the injunction hearing Thursday. Originally scheduled for Aug. 25, Circuit Court Judge Christina Snyder decided to postpone the hearing until Sept. 8. The ports and cities requested the delay to afford their legal teams more time to 'build a defense' of the truck plan, first introduced by the two ports in April 2007. ' Keith Higginbotham