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Rail News: Intermodal

IANA backs ATA's lawsuit against L.A.-area ports' concession plans


The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) supports the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) lawsuit against the concession plans of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif.

In July, the ATA — with the support of its Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference — filed suit in the U.S. District Court in California challenging the concession plans that were approved by the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the harbor commissions. The plans call for limiting access to the ports to trucking companies that have entered into concession contracts approved by the port program administrator.

The plans "impose a broad range of operational requirements that create a regulatory environment very similar to state/intrastate economic regulation," ATA officials said in a statement released July 28. "The ports have acknowledged that these intrusive regulatory systems will result in far fewer trucking companies being able to service the ports, reducing competition."

At a recent board meeting, IANA leaders validated the ATA's motion for an injunction and efforts to improve southern California's environment and air quality, including "reasonable regulation" of truck emissions. It is contrary to federal actions and public policy for states and localities to enact laws and regulations that impose "unreasonable burdens and restraints" on interstate and international commerce, IANA officials said in a prepared statement.

They agree in principle with ATA's arguments that, if enacted, the concession plans would result in the unlawful regulation of the port trucking industry, violate the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 and Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and restrict the ability of the competitive marketplace to determine the way transportation services are delivered.

"The evolving patchwork of local, state and federal clean air regulations will only serve to increase costs, decrease efficiencies and, ultimately, balkanize operations for all participants," said IANA Chairman Ted Prince.