The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the trucking industry's challenge to the Southern California program designed to reduce air pollution generated by diesel transportation in and out of the nation's busiest seaport complex.
The high court, it was announced Friday, will consider whether the City of Los Angeles has the authority to regulate diesel pollution from haulers that move cargo in and out of the harbor area that's home to one of the world's busiest shipping basins.
The one harbor is shared by the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles.
The American Trucking Associations sued the Port of Los Angeles -- part of the largest port complex in the United States along with the next door Port ofLong Beach-- in 2008, challenging its right to set air quality, safety and security standards for port trucking.
In 2010, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles dismissed the associations' challenge, upholding the rights of the port to set standards. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year affirmed her decision.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear the associations' appeal this spring.
``This continues to be a hard-fought battle against an industry clinging to its polluting practices,'' said Melissa Lin Perrella, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. ``The clean truck program at the Port of L.A. has dramatically reduced harmful air pollution from port trucking, but it won't stay that way unless trucking companies step up and shoulder the necessary costs of upkeep and care. The port's clean truck program requires just that.''
--Nancy Wride contributed to this report.