From ASLRRA –– Senators’ Letter to EPA Calls for Careful Consideration of CARB Waiver Request

Written by ASLRRA Corporate, Communications
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association

WASHINGTON –– Last week, twelve U.S. senators sent a bipartisan letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan urging the EPA to fully consider the impact of approving the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) request for a waiver for its In-Use Locomotive Regulation.

The letter notes the significant financial burden the regulation would place on California railroads while requiring them to adopt technology that is not commercially available today. The letter also explains how having such a stringent, state-specific rule would “jeopardize the interoperability of the national network” and “threaten the overall health of the supply chain.”

Other arguments describe how CARB’s rule violates restrictions put forth in the Clean Air Act and would disrupt the uniform regulatory landscape, harm the national economy and more.

The senators who signed the letter are:

  • Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
  • John Boozman (R-Ark.)
  • Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.)
  • Mike Braun (R-Ind.)
  • Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.)
  • Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
  • Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)
  • John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
  • Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)
  • Roger Marshall (R-Kan.)
  • Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

ASLRRA’s Baker Quoted in Letter Press Release

ASLRRA supports the Senate letter to EPA Administrator Regan, and Association President Chuck Baker was quoted in a press release discussing it. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), who spearheaded the letter, also issued the press release.

“We commend Sen. Ricketts and his colleagues for their important leadership on this issue,” said Baker. “Their letter conveys a fundamental message to EPA:  the federal government must stop California’s misguided measure in its tracks.

This state-level mandate requires small railroads to pay draconian compliance costs, discard useful and practical locomotives decades before the end of their useful lives, and acquire new locomotives that are not yet commercially available in order to meet completely arbitrary deadlines. CARB’s rule will be the death knell for small railroads in California if it’s allowed to proceed, and if other states follow this clearly illegal rulemaking, small railroads nationwide will shutter, crippling the country’s supply chain and increasing congestion and air pollution on the nation’s highways – ironically, exactly what CARB claims it wants to curtail.”

The press release also features a quote from Association of American Railroads President and CEO Ian Jefferies highlighting problems with CARB’s regulation.

Here is the letter from the twelve U.S. Senators, available for download.

Tags: , ,