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Court blocks California's crude-by-rail safety law

BNSF sued to try to stop a California law that would enforce a fee on rail shipments of crude oil and other hazardous materials.
Photo – BNSF Railway Co.


California cannot enforce a fee on rail shipments of crude oil, chlorine and other hazardous materials, a federal appeals court ruled late last week.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against California Senate Bill 84, the so-called Oil by Rail Safety Act, which requires railroads to collect fees from customers shipping certain hazardous materials and then send those fees to California.

BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad sued to stop implementation of the act, arguing that it violated three federal laws and the U.S. Constitution. A district court earlier concluded the railroads were likely to succeed in their case based on the merits of their claims.

To read the 9th Circuit's ruling, click here.


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