Surface Transportation

News & Analysis as of

Megatrends in M&A: 3 Key Regional Opportunities

With the rise in frequency of mergers & acquisitions (M&A) in Africa, the 26 percent growth of M&A in the Middle East this year and the global volume and value of M&A at its highest for years in the first three quarters of...more

Emerging Trends in Project Delivery: Design-Build-Maintain Contracting for Surface Transportation Projects

In the modern U.S. history of public-private partnerships, the prevailing project delivery models have been the toll concession and the availability payment contract. In both cases, the private party raises equity and debt...more

41 Projects Get Funding at CTC December Meeting

The California Transportation Commission met in Riverside on Wednesday. On the agenda was the allocation of $254 million in funding for transportation projects throughout the state. You can read Caltrans’ press release...more

New OECD Report Provides Insight into Foreign Bribery

According to a recent report issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), international efforts to tackle bribery have increased dramatically since the implementation of the Convention on...more

Must Calif. Dump Its Oil Spill Prevention Regime?

On Oct. 7, 2014, the Association of American Railroads and two of its member rail carriers filed suit against California's Office of Spill Prevention and Response in an effort to strike down the state's recent effort to...more

CEQA Alert: Court of Appeal Rules Against San Diego Agencies in Two Separate CEQA Challenges Involving Greenhouse Gas Emissions...

Two recent decisions by California’s Fourth Appellate District highlight the CEQA compliance challenges facing local governments charged with implementing state and local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction mandates....more

Analysis Of GHGs Under CEQA Just Got More Complex: Fourth District’s Split Decision Invalidates Program EIR For SANDAG’s 2050...

In a 2-1 published opinion filed November 24, 2014, the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division 1, affirmed and modified the trial court’s judgment granting writ petitions by plaintiff groups challenging the EIR for the San...more

EIR For SANDAG’s Regional Transportation Plan Rejected By Court Of Appeal

In a long-awaited 2-1 decision, a court of appeal overturned the environmental impact report for the San Diego Association of Governments’ 2050 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy. Cleveland...more

Transportation Policy In The 114th Congress

After their overwhelming success in the 2014 mid-term elections, Republicans are preparing to assume their new majority in the Senate, while their House colleagues have secured an expanded majority that exceeds their World...more

Eminent Domain Begins for County of Sacramento Road Projects

As traffic continues to increase and roadways become more congested, California’s transportation infrastructure needs to keep up. While there has been a concerted focus on alternative methods of transportation (such as rail,...more

Transportation Projects Get A Lot Of Deference in Demonstrating Compliance With Air Quality Standards

In a decision late last month, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made clear just how much deference agencies can get under the Supreme Court decisions in Chevron and Auer. The question in NRDC v. USDOT was whether, in...more

Mexico Issues Reporting Regulations for Broad Range of Greenhouse Gases

Last week, beneath the fanfare surrounding issuance of internal regulations for Mexico’s new oil and gas agency[1] and a suite of conforming amendments to more than half a dozen environmental regulations, the Secretariat of...more

Environmental Groups Seek to Derail Bakersfield Crude-by-Rail Project

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit challenging Kern County’s approval of the first substantial oil-by-rail expansion project at a California refinery, alleging that the comprehensive Environmental Impact...more

Environmental Groups Ramp-up the Crude-by-Rail Fight in the Courtroom

Bakken crude producers and midstream transportation companies already experience transportation woes related to inadequate pipeline infrastructure, railroad capacity, tank car supply, rail accidents, and new regulations. But...more

Flash No. 43 - A Favorable Decision Regarding the Massachusetts "ABC" Test

The saga surrounding the challenges to the Massachusetts “ABC” Test for independent contractors has taken a potentially positive turn for the transportation industry. A decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...more

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Considers Privacy Implications for New Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) announced in 2014 that it would begin steps toward implementing vehicle-to-vehicle (“V2V”) technology with an aim toward decreasing...more

Another Hefty OSHA Whistleblower Award + Reinstatement

On September 26, 2014, OSHA issued a preliminary order that an Illinois employer, Stericycle Inc. (the Company), reinstate and pay $262,000 to a supervisor who was discharged after allegedly reporting safety concerns to...more

Viewpoint: Analysis of New Framework for Transportation Impact Under CEQA

Viewpoint: Analysis of New Framework for Transportation Impact Under CEQA - On August 6, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a preliminary discussion draft of amendments to the California...more

California Governor Signs Bill Regulating Oil by Rail

On September 25, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will provide California’s emergency responders with more information about trains carrying crude oil and require railroad companies to provide...more

Growing Trend: Private Investment in Infrastructure and Transportation

As P3 Bulletin, the New York Times and Richard Cavallaro, the new CEO of international construction company Skanska’s US operations, have recently stated, the increase in private investment and Public Private Partnerships...more

FERC Issues Declaratory Orders in Shell and Pivotal Proceedings Related to LNG Production Facilities

On September 4, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued declaratory orders in response to two petitions, each seeking a jurisdictional determination under the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”)...more

From the Transportation Archives: The Perfect Storm: The Parameters of a Successful “Act Of God” Defense in Freight Claims

Federal and state law have long established that a shipper cannot prevail in a freight claim against a carrier if an “Act of God” caused the freight damage, loss, or delay in question. This “Act of God” defense is available...more

If it doesn’t matter, pay up! The High Court keeps a broad interpretation of Section 54

Maxwell v Highway Hauliers Pty Ltd [2014] HCA 33 - The High Court today handed down a decision concerning Section 54 (1) of the Insurance Contracts Act. The decision is important for many insurers, particularly those...more

Federal Highway Administration Publishes New Rule for Value Engineering

On Friday, September 5, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) published its final rule for Value Engineering (“VE”) for road and bridge projects. The new rule implements changes made to VE requirements under...more

Draft CEQA Guidelines Would Dramatically Alter Analysis of Transportation Impacts Under SB 743

On August 6, 2014, the California Office of Planning and Research issued a new draft guideline that could fundamentally alter the way in which transportation impacts are analyzed for purposes of review under the California...more

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