18 April 2005 00:01 [Source: ICB Americas]
CSX Transportation has rejected a federal judge’s request to engage in settlement talks with the District of Columbia (DC) in an effort to resolve a dispute over the city’s plan to prohibit shipments of toxic chemicals and other hazardous cargo through the nation’s capital.
CSX says it has a “good faith but fundamental disagreement” with DC over whether the city has the legal authority to impose a ban on shipments of hazardous materials, and the railroad asked US District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan to rule on the matter.
Sullivan plans to issue a ruling before April 20, the date the ban will take effect. In February, the DC Council passed a law that would bar rail or truck transport of hazardous materials within 2.2 miles of the US Capitol building.
With backing from the chemical industry and the Bush admin-istration, CSX has argued that the ban is unconstitutional.
The freight rail hauler wants a legal ruling because other localities are expected to enact similar hazmat transportation bans if DC prevails in the case before the federal court.
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