Judge rules in favor of environmental groups in ongoing Long Beach port trucking dispute

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A truck passes shipping containers at China Shipping at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the busiest port complex in the US, on September near Long Beach, California.

Environmental and labor groups have won a victory in an ongoing fight with the Port of Long Beach over how to enforce a ban on the oldest, dirtiest trucks working the harbor.

When it was conceived, the Clean Trucks Program at both the ports of Long Beach and L.A. aimed to enforce its provisions through agreements between the ports and trucking companies.

The trucking industry objected, arguing ports didn't have enough authority to enforce those agreements, and took their case to federal court. The port of L.A., the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the American Trucking Association are still fighting that one. But Long Beach announced a legal settlement.

It would cut out some provisions and use less restrictive contracts. Environmentalists and community groups took that to court, too. Now a district court judge has ruled that the Port of Long Beach should have considered the environmental impacts of changing the game plan for the Clean Trucks Program.

The decision means more work for Long Beach. Port officials there will have to report back to court with a plan by the end of the month.

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