Opposition Grows Against DCs Hazmat Ban

The first legal move against the law came from CSX -- which owns and operates the major rail line in the District and passes within four blocks of the Capitol according to the Washington Post -- in a U.S. District Court filing that claimed it was unconstitutional since it impedes interstate commerce. In separate filings, the Association of American Railroads and the National Industrial Transportation League supported CSX.

Now joining in on the side of the railroad are the U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Transportation as well as three members of the U.S. Congress. One, Representative Steve LaTourette (Republican of Ohio), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads in the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, noted if trains cannot pass through the District, they would have to be rerouted. That “would add hundreds of miles and days of transit times to the transportation materials. Alternative routings increase the number of times a car must be handled and the time a car sits in a yard. Longer distance and transit times and increased handling and dwell times are factors that tend to decrease safety and security,” he said.

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