American Trucking Associations gets go-ahead on concession hearing
December 13, 2010 - LM Editorial
In an ongoing legal battle, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit granted a petition by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) to expedite the filing of briefs in its suit against the concession requirements in the Port of Los Angeles so-called “clean-truck program.”
“This, by no means, represents a compromise,” said Curtis Whalen, executive director of the ATA’s intermodal conference. “Had we not we not offered to submit a brief first, the port would have done the same thing. We are both eager to end this early.”
Indeed, the appellate court noted that ATA’s request for an expedited hearing was unopposed. Now the deadline is December 28. The Natural Resources Defense Council’s answering briefs must be filed by Jan. 31, 2011, with ATA’s optional reply brief permitted to come within 14 days of the answering brief.
While virtually all U.S. seaports have a “clean trucks” initiative, the coinage has been embraced by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and a coalition of disparate community groups to push independent owner-operators out of the harbor drayage business.
As reported in LM, ATA requested an expedited hearing, thereby pushing the process forward by two months from the appellate court’s originally-published schedule.
Initially, the 9th Circuit refused the request on November 4, before ATA’s appellate court agreed to hasten the filing of the briefs.
“So, by reversing themselves,” said Whalen, “they bought everyone some time.”
And time, it would seem, is of the essence. Now that inbound freight is increasing at the port, shippers are eager to find out if their drayage costs will increase if and/or when Teamster drivers are employed.
According to spokesmen for the 9th Circuit, after briefing is complete, this case will be calendared as soon as possible.
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