L.A., Long Beach ports spend $9.7 million defending ‘Clean Trucks’

| 10/13/2009

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have racked up nearly $10 million in legal fees – and that figure should keep climbing.

The ports recently agreed to extend a legal contract with Kaye Scholer LLP to $7.5 million. The Port of Long Beach has contracted $2.2 million with Troutman Sanders LLP, according to The Cunningham Report.

The Federal Maritime Commission attempted to stop the emissions programs by using its authority to regulate interstate commerce. The commission, however, abandoned its plans to stop the programs earlier this year.

The ports each adopted versions of the Clean Trucks Program, and each port banned trucks with pre-1989 engines in 2008. The ports will prohibit trucks that don’t meet 2007 emissions standards by 2012. Each port approved concessionaire plans with licensing fees and other restrictions, although Los Angeles is requiring drivers to be company drivers.

The American Trucking Associations has sued the ports over portions of the clean trucks programs. The suit has succeeded in stopping the ports from implementing expensive licensing fees for port-approved motor carriers. The ATA is set to go to trial against the ports in February.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer