Trains Allowed To Idle Despite Pollution

Citing rules made more than 100 years ago, railroad operators have dodged regulations being pressed by a California air quality board to prohibit locomotives from idling -- a highly polluting activity.

"Locomotives are responsible for more than 32 tons per day of pollutants, an amount equal to that produced by 1.4 million cars, according to figures compiled by state and regional agencies."

"AQMD officials last year passed three regulations designed to cut idling time and measure health risks in neighborhoods near rail yards, asserting their authority to regulate emissions under the federal Clean Air Act and state policing laws."

"Two railroads and a trade group filed suit, saying that under special exemptions passed by Congress more than a century ago, they do not have to abide by local laws that could interfere with interstate commerce."

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