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Southern Pac. Transp. Co. v. California Coastal Comm'n

Citation: 12 ELR 20047
No. No. C-80-3916-MHP, 520 F. Supp. 800/(N.D. Cal., 08/11/1981)

The court holds that an application for Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) approval of a railroad abandonment is subject to consistency review under § 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The court finds that the text and the legislative history of the Act indicate Congress' intention to make compliance with § 307 mandatory for any required federal permit, limited only by matters of overriding national interest. The Interstate Commerce Act's (ICA's) abandonment provisions do not repeal the CZMA's consistency requirement explicitly or by implication, since consistency review does not interfere with the purposes of the ICA. Although the ICA requires expeditious processing of abandonment applications, the question of track removal raised by plaintiff's application is peripheral to the main issue of discontinuance of service; potential delay in the processing of the track removal phase of the application is not an obstacle to Congress' purpose in expediting the abandonment process. The court further holds that the California Coastal Commission's failure to inform the ICC of its intent to review the application within 30 days of the application was not a waiver of its rights where it had not actual notice of the application. Finally, the court denies the Coastal Commission's counterclaim for injunctive relief, since only the courts of appeals may enjoin an ICC order.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Thormund A. Miller, Louis P. Marchot, Gary A. Laakso
Southern Pacific Transportation Co.
S. Pacific Bldg., One Market Plaza, San Francisco CA 94105
(415) 362-1212

Counsel for Defendant
Linus Masouredis, Deputy Attorney General
6000 State Bldg., San Francisco CA 94102
(415) 557-1598