Judge Blocks New Jersey's Efforts to Regulate Railyard Transfer Stations

A federal judge has at least temporarily thwarted New Jersey's attempts to regulate railyard transfer stations. According to the Jersey Journal, U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Hayden "ruled regulations promulgated by New Jersey in November 2004 to control problems such as dust, noise, odors and dirty runoff at railroad trash-transfer facilities are pre-empted by laws giving the federal government jurisdiction over railroads and intersate commerce. The ruling set aside $2.5 million in fines levied against one rail trash-transfer operator, the New York Susquehanna Western Railway Corp., for four facilities it operated in Hudson County."

New Jersey officials have said they will appeal the decision. The National Solid Waste Management Association, the Solid Waste Management Association of North America and the Construction Materials Recycling Association are among the waste organizations that oppose the railyard transfer facilities and are lobbying the federal government to revoke the exemption that it grants to railroads from state and local oversight.

Waste Age will have more on the ruling in its March issue.