News & Analysis as of

Surface Transportation Board

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

STB Finds Arkansas City's Effort to Create New At-Grade Rail Crossing is Pre-empted

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has found that efforts by the city of Ozark, Ark., to force the reinstallation of a highway-rail at-grade crossing are pre-empted by federal law....more

FRA Invites Bids to Replace Amtrak on Three Routes

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced final rules permitting eligible petitioners to submit proposals to replace Amtrak on up to three Amtrak routes. The rules implement provisions of the Fixing America's...more

Eighth Circuit Strikes Down STB Rules Defining "On-Time" Passenger Performance

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Union Pacific Railroad Company v. Surface Transportation Board, No. 16-3307, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has held that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) exceeded its authority when it promulgated...more

Surface Transportation Board Acts to Protect Integrity of its Financial Assistance Process

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has adopted new rules to prevent abuse of offers of financial assistance (OFAs) under the ICC Termination Act of 1995. Under the OFA process, a party that wants to preserve rail service...more

Rail Issues Before the New Administration

by Holland & Knight LLP on

There was a plenty of rail-related activity during the 114th Congress and the last two years of the Obama Administration. Amtrak and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) were reauthorized with major changes to Amtrak's...more

Locked in Sixty Seconds: Ransomware, Remote Access, and the Brave New Internet of Things

by Poyner Spruill LLP on

A few months ago, we analyzed ransomware incidents and offered some suggestions for handling an episode. Ransomware is a cyberattack in which a hacker uses malware to take control of computer systems. The system owner is...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

Now You See Them, Now You Don’t: Longstanding Terms of the NMFC’s Uniform Bill of Lading Vanish

by Benesch on

On July 14, 2016, the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (“NMFTA”) published a supplement that changed the terms and conditions of the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading (“USBL”) published in the National Motor Freight...more

One More Tool in the STB Toolbox, But Will the Agency Use It?

by Freeborn & Peters LLP on

The STB Reauthorization Act of 2015 gave the agency new powers to conduct investigations on its own initiative. This month, the agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking setting out its proposed three step process for...more

Surface Transportation Board Rulemaking to Modify Requirements for Offers of Financial Assistance

by Nossaman LLP on

The Surface Transportation Board (“STB” or “Board”) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments on how it should revise its rules related to offers of financial assistance (“OFA”). The Board’s goal is to...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 Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015 #2

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - California Approves Drought Curb on Sacramento River Flows - Sacramento Bee - Jul 8: California regulators gave final approval on Tuesday to a controversial drought plan to restrict the...more

Recent Surface Transportation Board Preemption Decisions of Note

by Nossaman LLP on

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

CEQA Roundup – Recent Developments

by Miller Starr Regalia on

Numerous CEQA-related developments have recently been in the news. Some of possible interest include: Kings and Kern Counties, the Kings County Farm Bureau, and a number of other groups filed a petition on February 9 with the...more

STB Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Announcing Weekly Reporting on Rail Service Issues

by Nossaman LLP on

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which the Board seeks comments on the establishment of regulations which will require all Class I railroads and the Chicago...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2015 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Rail case heading to state Supreme Court: Willits News - Jan 27: The Supreme Court of California has accepted review of a lower court decision holding that federal law implemented by...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2014 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - California needs 11 trillion gallons of water to recover from the drought: Los Angeles Times - Jan 17: A series of recent rainstorms helped deposit needed moisture to California,...more

Crude-by-Rail Update: Municipalities in the Bakken Push Back Against Increasing Train Traffic

by BakerHostetler on

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, towns in the western United States grew and thrived around the railroad. In fact, the railroad tracks often became a central geographic feature within towns, birthing the...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

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

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - July 2014

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Second leg of California bullet-train line approved: SFGate.com - Jun 27: On June 27, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation gave its approval for work to begin on the second leg...more

California High-Speed Rail Authority Receives Federal Regulatory Authority to Construct Initial Segment of Passenger Rail System

by Nossaman LLP on

Yesterday, the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) authorized the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) to construct the initial 65-mile segment of its passenger train system between Merced and Fresno,...more

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