A federal judge has begun hearing arguments in a battle over the legality of certain portions of the Port of Los Angeles' clean-truck program. Last year the American Trucking Associations successfully obtained a preliminary injunction against parts of the program, including a concession plan that seeks to replace the owner-operators draying cargo to and from the port with employee drivers.
ATA said the concession mechanism is illegal, preempted the Constitution's "supremacy clause," which makes federal law the supreme law of the land. In addition, the association said the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 forbids any political subdivision of a state from enacting or enforcing any regulation "related to a price, route or service of any motor carrier ... with respect to the transportation of property" and unduly burdens interstate commerce in violation of the Constitution's commerce clause.
The port said its clean truck program "although not fully in effect in light of the preliminary injunction ... has contributed to major air quality gains, thus benefiting all those who use or live near the port. Moreover, the port's concession contract program will be shown to notably enhance its ability to address safety and security threats."
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