The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia stayed a ban prohibiting the transportation of ultra-hazardous materials within a 2.2-mi. radius from Capitol Hill, granting a request by railroad giant CSX Transportation. The ban was slated to begin today.
The stay will be effective until the appeals court reaches a decision on CSXT’s motion to invalidate the emergency act put forward by the D.C. Council. Earlier this week U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled against CSXT and sided with the D.C. Council on the grounds that the local government has the right to enact temporary emergency police powers to protect its citizens from a potentially devastating terrorist attack.
If the appellate court backs Judge Emmet’s decision, this would set a precedent that paves the way for other local agencies to enact similar bans on hazmat transportation, according to Rick Schweitzer, National Private Truck Council’s general counsel & government affairs.