When Federal And State Railroad Regulation Collide
By Elizabeth Lake and Daniel Golub (August 11, 2017, 11:17 AM EDT) -- The California Environmental Quality Act, 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 as broad as CEQA is limited by federal law.
In particular, the ICC Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA), which abolished the Interstate Commerce Commission, gives the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the rail industry and generally preempts state laws such as CEQA from imposing environmental preclearance requirements on private railway operations.
Rail opponents, however, have argued that CEQA does apply to railroad projects operated by California...
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