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Riverview, City of v. Surface Transp. Bd.

ELR Citation: 35 ELR 20036
Nos. No. 03-4174, (6th Cir., 02/10/2005)

The Sixth Circuit upheld the Surface Transportation Board's grant of a railroad company's request to operate an intermodal transportation facility on city property. Local governments argued that the company's proposal was a sham designed to prevent the surrounding cities from taking the property by eminent domain as part of their riverfront redevelopment plans. Under federal preemption, state and local governments may not condemn railroad property that is under the regulatory jurisdiction of the board. The board, however, reasonably concluded that the company proposed a bona fide railroad and transportation facility. In addition, based on the environmental assessment prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act, the board reasonably concluded that, as long as certain conditions were met, the project would have no significant impact on the human environment.