Surface Transportation

News & Analysis as of

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – Shaping Development

Applications for founding membership of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) closed on 31 March 2015. The fifty-seven prospective founding members notably do not include the United States (U.S.) or...more

Bill to Streamline Federal Permitting for Major Energy and Infrastructure Projects Advances in the US Senate

On May 6, 2015, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted 12-1 in favor of a bill designed to streamline the Federal permitting process for major energy and infrastructure projects. The bill,...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

South Carolina Legislative Update

The House and Senate were extremely busy this week – The Senate Finance Committee approved their version of the over $6 billion appropriation bill, which includes a $236 million bond provision for higher education, technical...more

Week In Review - May 2015

Budget Showdown - Governor Mark Dayton has expressed dismay at the direction lawmakers are veering in their budget plans. On spending state money, lawmakers are widening the chasm. The May 18 legislative...more

NHTSA's Enforcement Priorities Made Clear in U.S. DOT's Transportation Bill (Grow America Act)

Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled its long-term transportation bill, entitled the Grow America Act, which contained the Department’s wish list for funding and new authorities. On March 31, 2015, the...more

Potential for Vicarious Liability Under the Graves Amendment [Video]

The Graves Amendment is a federal statute that has traditionally shielded commercial motor vehicle leasing companies from most claims of vicarious liability. In August 2014, however, a New York court determined that a...more

Tax Planning for International Transportation Income

According to the most recent estimates, the quantity of goods carried by containers has risen from around 100 million metric tons in 1980 to about 1.5 billion metric tons in 2012. Out of these numbers, one container in every...more

Week in Review – Taxes, Transportation, and Goat Trails - April 24, 2015 #4

Taxes - The House Republican Omnibus Tax bill (HF848) was released on Monday. The $2 billion tax cut package includes $538 million to pay for a one-time income tax exemption and $450 million to begin phasing-out the...more

Week in Review - April 2015 #3

Tax Revenue - Minnesota raked in $100 million more in tax collections in February and March than State forecasters had predicted. The Minnesota Management and Budget Department said the additional revenue topped...more

Infrastructure Inspiration: NAIOP Massachusetts Goes Big

The NAIOP Massachusetts “Transportation Transformation” conference held on April 9 was one of those rare trade association meetings where you didn’t want the sessions to end. Ideas flowed from the podium and from the...more

Week in Review - April 2015 #2

Minnesota legislators resumed the 2015 session Tuesday with a full plate and six weeks remaining. Gov. Mark Dayton’s ambitious education and transportation spending proposals face serious challenges from the radically...more

“Beyond Traffic”: Imagining a Brighter Infrastructure Future

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has a favorite saying that he attributes to one of his public school teachers: “Having no plan is a plan.” Well, now the USDOT has a plan, or, as it calls it, a...more

Renewable Energy Update - March 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus: Carbon Emissions Stop Rising for First Time in 40 Years - Renewable Energy World - Mar 16: Global emissions were unchanged last year. This was the first time in four decades that emissions...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 27, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Marketable Record Title Act: right-of-way held by Florida Department of Transportation qualifies for right of way exception under MRTA and remainder of property held in fee by Florida Department...more

Art Dao, Executive Director of the Alameda County Transportation Commission, Speaks at the Wendel Rosen Construction Practice...

On March 2, 2015, Art Dao, Executive Director of the Alameda County Commission, spoke to a packed house at the Wendel Rosen Construction Practice Group’s Breakfast Forum on the Commission’s plans for nearly $8 billion in...more

Increasing Antitrust Risk in Non-Reportable Transactions – DOJ Obtains Disgorgement of Profits in Tour Bus Settlement

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently reached a settlement with Coach USA Inc. and City Sights LLC, breaking up their joint venture. The DOJ also employed the rarely used remedy of disgorgement to recover $7.5...more

Best Practices on “Best Value” Discussed by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program

The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) released its latest installment of its “Synthesis of Highway Practice” on March 5, 2015, discussing specifically practices for developing transparent “best value”...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown, top lawmakers unveil emergency drought legislation: Los Angeles Times - Mar 19: Governor Jerry Brown and top lawmakers from both parties announced Thursday a $1 billion...more

Week in Review - March 2015 #3

Friday marked the first committee deadline and thus a flurry of activity at the Capitol to act favorably on bills in their respective policy committees. MNsure - When Governor Mark Dayton’s supplemental budget...more

Uneasy Lies the Head That Wears the Transportation Crown

Perhaps the most memorable line from last week’s Regional Transportation Forum sponsored by the Greater Washington Board of Trade was offered by the Maryland DOT’s new Secretary, Peter Rahn....more

CEQA Alert UPDATE: Petitions for Review Filed in Greenhouse Gas and ICCTA Preemption Cases

As previously reported, two decisions by California’s Fourth Appellate District in late 2014 highlighted CEQA compliance challenges facing local governments charged with implementing state and local greenhouse gas emissions...more

States Take More Active Role in Surface Transportation Funding

Fiscal constraints on state budgets coupled with continued uncertainty with respect to future levels of federal surface transportation funding have led states to diversify the funding sources for their transportation...more

Colorado Continues Its Support for CNGs in 2015

Despite the uncertainty created by low oil prices, Colorado is pushing ahead in 2015 with efforts to expand the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a transportation fuel. Earlier this month, the Colorado Energy Office...more

Setting the Table - February 2015: Misguided Standards Could Cause Food Waste and Freight Claims to Skyrocket

The FDA’s proposed food safety rule, entitled “Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food,” presents significant change for all involved in the food transportation industry. In a previous issue of Setting the Table, we...more

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