Administrative Agency Transportation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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Uber’s ADA Conundrum

When you think of Uber (or similar companies like Lyft and Sidecar) you probably think of a transportation company. You request a ride on the company’s app and a driver (in his own vehicle) picks you up. The nature of the...more

Florida drone bill passed into law, more concerns raised about its restrictions

At the end of April, we posted on the passing of S.B. 766 through the Florida State legislature, and now on May 14, 2015, Governor Rick Scott signed into law the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, in the State of...more

OFAC Issues Guidance Regarding the Parameters of Authorized Travel Between the U.S. and Cuba

On May 5, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued guidance regarding travel between the United States and Cuba. In particular, the guidance clarifies that companies authorized to...more

Drones: FAA Announces Pathfinder Program to Explore BVLOS and Urban Drone Operations

The FAA’s regulatory actions on unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) are accelerating, making it more important than ever for those in the industry—and those looking to use this technology in their own sectors—to keep their eyes...more

But We Did Everything Right?: Why Agreements with Shippers are Necessary for Carriers to Protect Themselves from...

As food transporters grapple with the myriad of compliance issues raised by the Food Safety Modernization Act and the FDA’s looming proposed “Food Safety Rule on the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food,” carriers...more

Maryland Governor signs drone regulation bill into law

On May 13, 2015, Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, signed the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Research, Development, Regulation and Privacy Act of 2015 into law. This new Maryland state drone Act gives the state government the...more

Commercial UAS Modernization Act introduced to the Senate; we can’t wait for the FAA

On May 12, 2015, the Commercial UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems –i.e. drones) Modernization Act was introduced to the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security, which sets forth interim drone operating...more

Kansas Thumbed Its Nose at EPA’s SIP Requirements — How’d That Work Out?

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected Kansas’s challenge to EPA’s disapproval of Kansas’s SIP revisions intended to comply with the Interstate Transport Rule. The Court found that EPA was not arbitrary or...more

Shifting Landscapes: Regulatory Challenges Stemming from Emerging Technologies

In the modern era, the world moves fast—aided by technology that is constantly evolving and changing our relationships with each other and with the world around us. Technological developments challenge state and local...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, May 2015.

EPA Releases TSCA Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation, Initial Assessment For 1,4-Dioxane: On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan...more

DOT Revises Its “Mistaken Fares” Enforcement Policy

DOT’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings issued a notice temporarily amending its enforcement policy regarding airlines’ obligation to honor “mistaken fares.” Until now, DOT’s Enforcement Office has generally...more

OFAC Publishes Guidance Regarding Travel Between U.S. and Cuba, Releases Updated FAQs Regarding Cuba-Related Sanctions

On May 5, OFAC issued new Guidance Regarding Travel Between the U.S. and Cuba, which provides information on the types of individuals and cargo that can be transported between the U.S. and Cuba by a licensed air carrier or...more

Florida Passes Drone Surveillance Bill To Protect Personal Privacy

On April 28, 2015, the Florida State Legislature passed SB 766, or better known as the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, which permits commercial drone use, but bans the use of drones for the surveillance of private...more

DOT Tank Car Rule Reflects Refined Cost-Benefit Analysis

On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation, acting through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, issued a much-anticipated final rule on the enhanced tank car standards and operational...more

New Federal Oil-By-Rail Regulations Published

Today, May 8, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a final rule for rail transport of crude oil in the Federal Register. These rules come after several high-profile oil train derailments,...more

These Taxi Drivers Are Not Employees Says Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

We have been following the high-publicity battle between Uber and Lyft, on the one hand, and the drivers on the other, over whether the drivers are properly classified as independent contractors. Uber and Lyft argue they are...more

FAA Proposes Framework of Regulations For Small-Scale Commercial Drones

On Feb. 15 the Federal Aviation Administration released its long-awaited proposed framework for regulating small-scale commercial drones, which weigh less than 55 pounds.1 In its proposal, the FAA made explicitly clear that...more

New Standards for Shipping Crude Oil, Petroleum Products and Renewable Fuel by Rail

On Friday, May 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) issued a final rule establishing new requirements for transporting flammable liquids in a continuous block of 20 or more tank cars or 35 or more tank cars loaded...more

“Peace Train” or “Crazy Train”?

In my former days defending agency actions in federal court, I had a standard line I used with frequent success when rules were attacked by all sides: “Your Honor, we’ve been sued here by both industry and environmental...more

Recent Surface Transportation Board Preemption Decisions of Note

In the last several months, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has issued a number of decisions further defining the scope of federal preemption. As the primary agency tasked with the economic regulation of the...more

Over 4,400 comments on FAA’s proposed drone framework; Amazon wants less restrictions and more room for technological advancement

The comments period closed on April 24, 2015, for the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed drone framework and regulations, and there were over 4,400 comments submitted. Among those opposed to the limited scope of the...more

Weigand v. N.L.R.B: A Double Standard for Social Media?

On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision finding a local branch of the Amalgamated Transit Union (“Union”) could...more

Recent Crude-by-Rail Developments

The transportation of crude oil by rail continues to be a key issue for rail and energy industry stakeholders as well as policy makers. Below is a summary of recent developments. 1. DOT Takes Six Crude-by-Rail Safety...more

Oil on the Rails: States Increasing Regulation of Oil Trains

The increase in North American petroleum production in recent years, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in a significant rise of, and reliance on, the transport of crude oil by rail. Public...more

FRA's Proposed Rule on Risk Reduction Programs Puts the Outreach Obligations Squarely on Railroad Management

On February 27, 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration ("FRA") published its proposed rule on Risk Reduction Programs in the Federal Register. The proposed rule would require Class I railroads and railroads with an...more

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