Bush administration will comply with a federal appeals court order
and study the environmental impact Mexican trucks would have on
U.S. roadways, The Associated Press reported.
study would analyze short- and long-term environmental impacts and
should take a year to 18 months, DOT said.
a news release, the Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration said it awarded a $1.8 million contract to
Fairfax, VA-based ICF Consulting to prepare the study.
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stopped a proposal to allow Mexican
trucks to operate beyond U.S. border commercial zones in response
to a lawsuit filed by environmental, labor and trucking groups.
The groups said the Bush administration had not determined the impact
of emissions from the trucks on the environment.
may still appeal
officials decided to go ahead with the study, though it is still
considering appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court so roadways can
be opened to the trucks expeditiously, said Andy Beck, spokesman
Claybrook, president of the consumer group Public Citizen, said
the government should drop its court appeals.
think they just ought to bite the bullet and do the environmental
impact statement and then move on,” Claybrook said.
officials had until June 30 to file court documents asking the Supreme
Court to review the case, but the court has twice extended that
deadline. The department now has until Sept. 9 to seek the review.
A decision could take longer than the study, Beck said.
the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexican trucks were to
have gained full access to U.S. roads beginning in 2000. But the
Clinton administration, under pressure from labor and consumer groups,
refused to grant them entry. Mexico successfully challenged the
moratorium through a free trade tribunal.