[SIZE=+2]Air quality officials to appeal train-idling decision
[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]10:00 PM PDT on Friday, May 18, 2007
[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]The Press-Enterprise[/SIZE] Regional air pollution officials decided Friday to appeal a federal court ruling last month that bars them from limiting the length of time locomotives can idle while parked in train yards.
In an effort to reduce pollution from diesel soot, the South Coast Air Quality Management District adopted rules that limited locomotive idling to 30 minutes and required the railroads to track idling times.
The rules also required railroads to assess the health risks faced by residents living near 19 rail yards in Southern California.
Diesel soot has been linked to cancer, heart disease and other health problems.
The air district's rules were struck down by U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter in Los Angeles after railroad companies sued.
Railroad officials contended the air quality agency had no authority over locomotives and successfully argued that the rules are pre-empted by federal regulations protecting the free flow of interstate commerce.
(?) Heard on the news (but cant remember exact quote), that combined diesel locomotive idling in L.A. area is equivalent to emissions from 250K autos each year!