Court Rules Diesel Particulate Emissions Waste Is Not Solid Waste Under RCRA

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates discarded solid or hazardous waste. A recent lawsuit by environmental groups advanced a novel legal argument that diesel particulates found in diesel exhaust emitted from locomotives and trucks at rail yards should be considered a form of solid or hazardous waste subject to regulation under the RCRA.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of Los Angeles rejected this argument on May 29, ruling that Congress did not intend for diesel exhaust to be regulated under RCRA. [Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. Union Pacific Corp., C.D. Cal., No. 11-CV-08608]

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