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1/16/2003
SPECIAL REPORT: Court order puts the brakes on Mexican truck entry

The Ninth Circuit Court Jan.16 ordered the U.S. Department of Transportation to prepare an environmental impact statement and Clean Air Act conformity determination before Mexican trucks can travel beyond U.S. commercial zones.

In its ruling, the court found DOT "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" by failing to prepare a full environmental statement.

On May 1, 2002, the Teamsters union joined a coalition of environmental, labor and consumer groups in a lawsuit to stop the Bush administration from opening the border to Mexican truck traffic.

The lawsuit charged the administration with violating environmental laws for not considering the environmental impact of Mexican trucks. Among the concerns: The ability of Mexican trucks to meet strict standards that go into effect in 2007 that will require use of low-sulfur diesel fuel and catalytic converters.

Other coalition members include: Public Citizen, the Environmental Law Foundation, California Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and the California Trucking Association.

-- Dick Larsen, senior editor

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