Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has signed into law a plan that will set new low-emissions standards for trucks carrying cargo in and out of the Port of Los Angeles. This plan is part of a $1.6 billion clean-air initiative. It is expected that the initiative will result in clearing more than 17,00 older diesel trucks—those with the highest diesel emissions—from the Port of Los Angeles. The mayor called this the “most aggressive” port cleanup plan “anywhere in the world.” Lowering the level of diesel emissions is expected to have a positive health effect in Los Angeles, especially for local children.

One controversial part of the new law bans independent truck drivers from the port area, requiring them to become employees of trucking companies. This rational for this part of the law was that independent drivers could not afford the new $100,000 trucks that are required to meet the new emissions limits. The American Trucking Association has said it will sue to block that requirement.

For more information on this story, go to the LA Times Blog.