Victory for California: Los Angeles Rules in Favor of the Clean Truck Program

It’s about time.  In a tremendous legal victory for clean air and workers’ rights, a CA district judge has ruled in favor of the Los Angeles Clean Truck program.  The Clean Truck program allows the Port of Los Angeles to enforce all provisions of one of the most effective diesel reduction programs in the country!

In 2008, the Port of LA adopted the Clean Truck Program, which made each trucker a port employee who earns a living wage, works under improved conditions (opulent luxuries such as access to a bathroom), and enjoys health and other benefits.  The plan paid for 6,600 new, clean trucks and reduced diesel emissions by 80%.  Most importantly, the plan transferred responsibility for truck ownership and maintenance from the drivers to bigger companies.  (In return, those companies received financial incentives and subsidies.)

In response to the adoption of the plan, the American Trucking Association, an association made up of companies that lease and run the LA Ports trucking industry sued to stop the plan’s implementation.  And because the laws that govern these issues are outdated, the lawsuit stopped the Clean Truck Plan not only in LA, but in other ports around the country similarly fighting for good jobs and clean air.

The case was heard in three different court processes, and in the most recent decision, the CA district judge rules in favor of the Los Angeles Clean Truck program!

This victory is major, but we aren’t stopping our fight yet.  The Center for Environmental Health is fighting to bring the clean air and good jobs to port communities across the country.

“Our fight doesn’t end until Congress passes the Clean Ports Act, because mothers like me shouldn’t have to show our 3-year-olds how to use an inhaler,” says Silvia Martinez, a Long Beach mother of a child who suffers from respiratory illness due to port truck pollution.  “This victory inspires me to keep fighting for the health of my child.  Ports around the country should not have to waste taxpayer’s money to fight the trucking industry bullies that want our children to continue breathing toxic diesel pollution.”

Families and workers in every port community across the country deserve the same clean air and good jobs.  That’s why the Center for Environmental Health is be asking our supporters to support the Clean Ports Act of 2010, so that no one has to face dirty diesel’s nasty health threats.

For more information on the historic ruling, read the AP article.