header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
54°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 6
1864 - Actor William S. Hart born in Newburgh, New York [Hart Index]
Wm. S. Hart


unionpacific[CN] – A federal judge has blocked a California law that would tax trains — but not trucks — that carry hazardous materials, to pay for training and emergency responses to accidents involving the dangerous substances.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg on Friday granted BNSF and Union Pacific Railways’ request for a preliminary injunction, finding the railroads likely to succeed on the merits of some of their arguments.

“The public interest does not weigh against such relief,” Seeborg wrote.

BNSF and Union Pacific sued the state in August, claiming Senate Bill 84 of 2015 unfairly forces railroads and their clients pay for emergency response and preparedness even though truck accidents are more frequent. The law required the railroads to be ready to collect the fees as of Oct. 1 this year.

Railroads were to charge $45 for each railcar carrying hazardous materials, such as ethanol and crude oil, loaded in or coming into California.

The railroads said the fee would drive away their business to truckers, and that only the federal government can regulate interstate railroads.

“California’s scheme will disserve the public interest, either by encouraging shippers to switch to riskier modes of transportation, or by simply discouraging interstate commerce in hazardous materials that are vital to the nation’s industrial and agricultural economy,” the railroads said in their lawsuit.

Seeborg found that California failed to show that charging railroads but not other forms of transportation complies with the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. He noted that the fees could be used to pay for emergency responses to trucking accidents.

Seeborg agreed that the fee acts as a tax, supporting the railroads’ claim that the law is unfair under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

“As the railroads point out, merely requiring reimbursement of equipment operating expenses does not excuse saddling the rail industry with the cost of acquiring equipment that very well could be used by the trucking industry as much or more than by the rail industry,” Seeborg wrote.

The railroads said the California Legislature rejected a similar law that would have charged rail and trucking companies a hazardous materials fee.

The state argued in opposition that a train can carry more hazardous material than a truck, making a train accident much more harmful. California also claimed that its emergency response system for trucking accidents with hazardous materials is adequate, but its emergency response system for rail accidents is not.

“The public’s interest in assessing a minimal fee designed to protect the shippers of hazardous materials by mitigating the damage caused by a spill clearly outweighs the potential harm caused by having to collect the fee,” the state said in its argument against the injunction.

But Seeborg found that the railroads showed that their business will take a hit if they’re required to collect the fees while the litigation continues.

“If the fees take effect and the law is later ruled invalid, the railroads have established that the fees will drive at least some business to trucking — damages that they will not be able to recover against the state,” Seeborg wrote.

BNSF is represented by Benjamin Horwich with Munger, Tolles and Olson; Union Pacific by Carol Thompson with Sidley Austin, both of San Francisco.

BNSF could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

A Union Pacific spokesman said the railroad had no comment.

The state of California also declined to comment.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. BNSF is owned by Warren Buffett. Always seems to work out for him.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2022
Public Health Warning Parents of Children’s Products Recall Due to Lead
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is warning parents and caregivers about the potential health risks associated with several recalled children’s toys, clothes, and other products.
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2022
Sheriff Robert Luna Sworn Into Office
Sheriff Robert Luna arrived Monday at the Hall of Justice and held his first news conference on the front steps.
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2022
Barger Dedicates $1M in Discretionary Funds to Help Deter Holiday Crime
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose Fifth District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, announced Tuesday she will provide up to $1 million in discretionary funding to boost law enforcement services in unincorporated areas in her district.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is warning parents and caregivers about the potential health risks associated with several recalled children’s toys, clothes, and other products.
Public Health Warning Parents of Children’s Products Recall Due to Lead
Sheriff Robert Luna arrived Monday at the Hall of Justice and held his first news conference on the front steps.
Sheriff Robert Luna Sworn Into Office
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose Fifth District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, announced Tuesday she will provide up to $1 million in discretionary funding to boost law enforcement services in unincorporated areas in her district.
Barger Dedicates $1M in Discretionary Funds to Help Deter Holiday Crime
1864 - Actor William S. Hart born in Newburgh, New York [Hart Index]
Wm. S. Hart
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center at Bella Vida is launching its Annual Appeal Campaign to raise much needed funds for the Center.
SCV Senior Center Announces Annual Appeal Campaign Launch
Community members are invited to enjoy "All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914," a play based on a true story when camaraderie prevailed on the battlefield in 1914.
Dec. 7: ‘All is Calm’ at The Soraya on CSUN Campus
Nearly 14.8 million Californians now have a REAL ID – an increase of 198,814 from the previous month – according to Department of Motor Vehicles data.
Homeland Security Extends REAL ID Deadline Another Two Years
The Salvation Army Santa Clarita Valley Corps is asking the community to consider taking part in their Adopt a Family and Adopt a Senior Programs this holiday season.
Salvation Army Seeks Donations for Adopt a Family, Senior Programs
The Women's Council of Realtors Santa Clarita Network installed their new Governance Board at Embassy Suites in Valencia on Friday.
Women’s Council of Realtors Installs New Governance Board
The city of Santa Clarita is pleased to announce that informational meetings have been scheduled for those organizations interested in applying for 2023-24 Community Development Block Grant fundin
City Announces Community Development Block Grant Now Available
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a business meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the University Center, UCEN Room 301 on the Valencia campus of College of the Canyons.
Dec. 7: COC Board of Trustees Business Meeting
Trees and shrubs provide clean air, add depth and dimension to the landscape, and enhance neighborhoods with colors and textures.
Dec. 10: Free Gardening Class Highlighting SCV Trees, Shrubs
Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit Finally Family Homes is seeking donations to ensure college-aged foster youth are remembered for the holidays.
Finally Family Homes Seeking Donations for Holiday Gift Drive
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Monday one additional death and 253 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley over the weekend, with 29 additional deaths and 10,089 new cases countywide.
Monday COVID Roundup: SCV Cases Top 94,000; Deaths Rise to 518
1938 - Supervisors award construction contract for jail at Wayside Farms in Castaic (later called Pitchess Detention Center). [story]
Wayside
1962- Actress and future Soledad Canyon big-cat rescuer Tippi Hedren, "Hitchcock's New Grace Kelly," makes cover of Look magazine for upcoming thriller, "The Birds" [story]
Tippi Hedren
1887 - Prohibitionist Henry Needham purchases land in Newhall, attempts to establish "dry" colony [story]
H.C. Needham
The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society is looking for your ideas and opinions in deciding what to feature in the museum being installed in the Pardee House at Heritage Junction in Newhall.
Help SCV Historical Society Create a Museum at the Pardee House
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 14 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 4,744 new cases countywide and 131 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: Cases Rise, Indoor Masking Urged
Four years ago, against all odds, I became the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles County. And as Sheriff, I promised that I would Reform, Rebuild and Restore the greatest and largest Sheriff’s Department in the nation. Four years later, I am proud to say that with the support of the sworn and professional staff, together we were able to meet challenges head on, and deliver on that promise.
LASD Sheriff Alex Villanueva Delivers Farewell Address
The regular meeting of the William S. Hart Union High School District's Governing Board will take place Wednesday, Dec. 7, beginning with a closed session at 5:45 p.m., followed immediately by open session at 7 p.m.
Dec. 7: Hart Board to Discuss Policy on Flags, Banners at School Events
Following the recent decision by the Japanese government to allow the return of international cruise ships to the country, Princess Cruises has announced it will begin homeport sailing in Japan starting March 15, 2023.
Japan Reopens to International Cruise Ships, Princess Cruises Readies for Full Season
The weather is cooler, holiday lights are shining and the New Year is just around the corner. This is a special time of year to reconnect with family and friends, and there are many opportunities for holiday celebrations right here in Santa Clarita.
Message from the City Manager Ken Striplin | Happy Holidays
UPDATE: Trent Michael Boser has been found. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit are asking for the public’s help locating an At-Risk, Missing Person, Trent Michael Boser. He is a 47-year-old male white adult who was last seen on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 at 12:21 a.m., near the 31000 block of Ridge Route Road, in the city of Castaic.
LASD Seeks Public’s Help to Locate Missing Castaic Man
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: