Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed a law Thursday that will phase out the use of exhaust-spewing diesel trucks carrying cargo from the Port of Los Angeles, part of a larger $1.6-billion clean-air initiative that will affect more than 17,000 older diesel trucks.
"This is the most aggressive effort to clean up the air at a port anywhere in the world," Villaraigosa said at a City Hall news conference.
"Today, Angelenos can rest assured their children will breath easier and so will their grandchildren," he said.
The law requires independent truck drivers serving the port to become employees of trucking companies and bans independent contractors.
Villaraigosa and port authorities argued that independent, low-income drivers will not be able to afford the new $100,000 trucks that meet the port's strict low-emissions requirements.
That requirement was backed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which believes the provision will make it easier to organize truckers, but it's opposed by the American Trucking Assn., which vowed to file a lawsuit to block that part of the plan.