(CN) – Truckers must comply with the Port of Los Angeles’ regulations on truck safety, emissions and security, the 9th Circuit ruled, saying the rules were based on legitimate safety concerns.
The American Trucking Associations filed a federal lawsuit against the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Los Angeles Harbor Department, the Board of Harbor Commissioners and three environmental groups, seeking to stop the port from implementing concession agreements between the port and truckers.
The concessions require motor carriers to obtain a license and remain in good standing, use only permitted trucks, be solely responsible for their drivers and employees, keep trucks in good condition, maintain records on their drivers and trucks and comply with the Clean Trucks Program.
The truckers argued that the concession agreements were pre-empted by the Federal Aviation Administration and Authorization Act, because they were based on price, route and service rather than safety.
U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder ruled that although provisions related to price, route and service are generally pre-empted by federal law, the truckers were “unlikely to succeed,” because the agreements likely fall under exceptions to federal motor vehicle safety laws.
The 9th Circuit reversed in 2009, explaining that many provisions in the agreements were “likely pre-empted.”
On remand, Judge Snyder severed the pre-empted provisions and rejected the association’s challenge, saying the port has the authority to bar entry to trucks that don’t comply with the surviving regulations.
The truckers again appealed, but the three-judge panel in Pasadena said the port can enforce the requirements, even if they’re duplicates of existing federal laws.
“Evidence in the record from [port] officials establishes that [the Port of Los Angeles] adopted these provisions out of concern for safety at the Port,” Judge Myron Bright wrote.