Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 – For days, dozens of leaks, media reports, at least one legal action and even the official word from Mexico have claimed the cross-border trucking program was on track to begin as early as Saturday. However, it appears the word from the U.S. Department of Transportation is that it will delay the program until after Labor Day as it waits for a final report from the DOT’s Inspector General.
In the government’s response to a request filed by the Teamsters to stop the program, it was noted that it was the agency’s “current understanding” that a required follow-up report from the IG is not likely to be transmitted until Wednesday, Sept. 5.
Accordingly, the Department of Transportation now anticipates the pilot program will not be implemented before Thursday, Sept. 6.
The response was filed today by attorneys for the U.S. DOT in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The petitioners asking for an emergency stay include the Teamsters, Sierra Club, Public Citizen and several other groups.
By proceeding with this pilot program, U.S. DOT is facing heavy opposition on multiple fronts. On Thursday, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President and CEO Jim Johnston said OOIDA intends to pursue a separate legal action.
“We intend to make every effort possible to stop it,” he said. “We intend to pull out all the stops, both through the courts and the legislative process.”
– By Sandi Soendker, managing editor