News & Analysis as of

ICCTA

Faceoff with Federal Government Possibly Looming Following California Supreme Court CEQA Ruling; Cal High Speed Rail Project Also...

In July 2017, the California Supreme Court determined the federal Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (49 U.S.C. § 10101 et seq.) (“ICCTA”) does not preempt the application of the California Environmental...more

CA Supreme Court Holds CEQA Not Preempted by Federal Rail Transportation Law for Projects Carried Out by State Agencies

by Perkins Coie on

The California Supreme Court has issued its decision in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad, an important case regarding preemption of state environmental law by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act...more

Calif. High Court: U.S. Rail Law Doesn't Categorically Pre-empt CEQA on Public Entity Projects - Decision Sets Up Showdown with...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Cal. Pub. Res. Code §21000 et seq., imposes significant procedural and substantive requirements on private and public projects throughout the state. However, even a state law...more

CEQA Not Preempted in State-Owned Rail Project - California Supreme Court Decision Could Impact High-Speed Rail Project

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

In a decision that could have significant implications for California’s high-speed rail project, the California Supreme Court recently held in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority that the federal...more

“Self-Governance,” Not “Regulation”: California Supreme Court Rules No Federal Preemption of CEQA under ICCTA for State-Owned Rail...

by Downey Brand LLP on

On July 27, the California Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority (S222472), resolving a split among the State’s courts of appeal—but arguably...more

California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Applies to State Entity’s Railroad Project on State-Owned Rail Line As Act of...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

On July 7, 2017, the California Supreme Court filed its 69-page opinion, written by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and joined by five other justices, in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority, et al. (2017)...more

No Idle Matter — D.C. Circuit Holds that State’s Attempt to Regulate Locomotive Noise is Preempted by ICA and ICCTA

by Lane Powell PC on

States and municipalities commonly attempt to curb or eliminate noise generated by locomotives and rail cars as they pass through their jurisdictions. A recent attempt by the state of Delaware to shut down idling locomotives...more

STB Jurisdiction Over Intrastate Passenger Rail

by Nossaman LLP on

In Florida, All Aboard Florida, a private entity, is about to launch passenger rail service from Miami to West Palm Beach, with future service extending to Orlando. In California, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is...more

The California Supreme Court Has a Banner Week, Hearing Argument in Three CEQA and Land Use Cases

by Downey Brand LLP on

On May 3–4, 2017, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases with significant implications for California land use law. Below we summarize the main issue(s) argued in each matter and possible outcomes....more

Ninth Circuit Rules Surface Transportation Board Has Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Certain Railroad Repair Work

On November 23, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a unanimous ruling that the Surface Transportation Board has exclusive jurisdiction over “railroad repair work done at the direction of a federally...more

WA Court Denies MSJs in CWA Citizen’s Suit Over Alleged Illegal Discharges of Coal and Coal Dust

A group of environmental organizations, headed by the Sierra Club, filed a Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen’s lawsuit against the BNSF Railway Company, alleging that the railroad, the only transporter of coal in Washington,...more

Supreme Engagement: CEQA’s Continuing Saga In California’s High Court

by Miller Starr Regalia on

A new year often brings fresh perspective. With 2016 still in its infancy, it is natural to reflect back on what has been and also to contemplate what is yet to come. The California Supreme Court’s recent CEQA decisions, and...more

First Circuit Court of Appeals Clarifies Limited Deference to Surface Transportation Board Views on Railroad Preemption

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In two companion decisions released in October, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, considered the extent to which federal preemption of state and local laws applies to railroad operations involving the...more

California Supreme Court To Resolve Appellate Court Split on Federal Preemption in Railroad Regulation

by Stoel Rives LLP on

On December 10, 2014, the California Supreme Court granted petition for review in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority to resolve a split between the First and Third District Courts of Appeal. (230...more

The Federal Surface Transportation Board Finds California Environmental Quality Act Preempted as Applied to High-Speed Rail...

by Buchalter on

In a surprising decision, Surface Transportation Board Decision, Docket No. FD35861, December 12, 2014 (“Docket”), the Federal Surface Transportation Board (“Board”) ruled that the application of the California Environmental...more

“Making CEQA A Federal Case? Recent Actions of California’s Supreme Court and the Federal Surface Transportation Board Set Up A...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

Controversy has dogged the California high speed rail project since before its inception with the 2008 passage of Proposition 1A, the bond measure providing the project’s initial funding. The controversy has not abated in the...more

Update on the California High Speed Rail System

by Stoel Rives LLP on

James Andrew, Assistant Chief Counsel for the California High-Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”), spoke Tuesday, October 14, at the Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section Luncheon. He stated that High-Speed...more

Railroad Companies Allege Federal Law Governing Petroleum Transport Preempts SB 861

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Railroad transportation of raw petroleum, often referred to as “crude-by-rail,” has received increasing media attention in recent months, due to health and environmental concerns. California took a stab at legislating rail...more

First District Holds CEQA’s Application To Public Agency’s Approval of Railroad Operations Is Preempted By Federal Law Despite...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

The North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), a public agency established by state law, contracted with Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company (NWPRC) to allow NWPRC to conduct freight services on tracks controlled by NCRA....more

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