The Long Beach Harbor Commission illegally violated state environmental law when it weakened its truck cleanup program without first performing the required environmental review, a federal judge has ruled.
Finding in favor of the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which sued the commission, U.S. District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder found the harbor panel violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
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The Harbor Commission agreed in October 2009 to allow the American Trucking Association (ATA) to oversee future updates to the port's clean trucks program, which outlawed vehicles that spew designated levels of pollution into the air. Under the pact with ATA, the ATA could sue the Harbor Commission if the panel made any changes to the clean trucks program without ATA approval.
But that agreement violated CEQA because the commission did not first perform a required environmental review to access the ecological implications, Snyder ruled. She directed the port to perform a initial CEQA study to determine whether more environmental analysis is warranted.
By the way, the CEQA process allows the public to chime in on what they think of the ATA policing the clean trucks program.
Snyder's ruling clears the way for "a sustainable clean truck program and cleaner air for port residents," reads an NRDC statement.