Surface Transportation

News & Analysis as of

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

Amtrak Bill Aims To Keep Northeast Corridor Profits on the Northeast Corridor

The House Transportation Committee has approved the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act, a bill that would reauthorize Amtrak and other rail programs. The bill is substantially the same as the 2014 legislation and is...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 01/2015

The Minnesota Legislature had a short week after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This week was one of transition as committees had fewer introductory hearings and more testimony on bills that are being considered. ...more

Transit Oriented Development Critical to Metropolitan Growth

Urban Development: Faster Greener Commutes Key to Sustained City Growth, a report released in October 2014 by Cushman & Wakefield, provided insight into Transit Oriented Development as it explored “the consequences of rapid...more

Transportation Funding Issue Heats Up

Right out of the gate, both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature put forward transportation funding packages. It has been called the issue of the session. The need for reliable, efficient transportation touches everyone in...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 01/2015

Most House and Senate committees met for the first time this week, and spent the majority of their committee sessions hearing caucus staff and experts review issues they are expected to handle during the session. Talk around...more

Nossaman’s Eminent Domain Practice Group Attending the Transportation Research Board’s 94th Annual Meeting In Washington D.C.

The Transportation Research Board’s 94th Annual Meeting is well under way in Washington D.C. (January 11-15, 2015).  The meeting, which has attracted over 12,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors this year, provides an opportunity...more

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

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

Transportation Conformity Form Over Substance

A few determined environmental advocates have attempted for years to use the Clean Air Act’s strict transportation conformity rules to tie up planned highway improvements. For the most part, courts have rebuffed those...more

SANDAG Seeks Review of CEQA Decision Invalidating EIR for Its Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy

On January 6, 2015, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) filed a petition asking the California Supreme Court to review the decision in Cleveland National Forest Foundation, et al. v. San Diego Association at...more

San Diego MPO's Analysis Of RTP's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rejected

In a decision with implications for all transportation projects in California, the California Court of Appeal held that the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation projects in a metropolitan transportation...more

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

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