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Middlesex County Health Dep't v. Consolidated Rail Corp.

Citation: 39 ELR 20016
No. No. 08-4547, (D.N.J., 12/16/2008)

A district court dismissed a county's lawsuit against a railroad company for allowing its locomotive engines to idle in violation of state air pollution law. This case involves railcars, the fumes they emit, and the tracks they use. Accordingly, its falls under the umbrella of federal regulatory authority. Congressional authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the railroads is well established, and the U.S. Supreme Court repeatedly has recognized the preclusive effect of all federal legislation in this area. Here, the county's claims are preempted by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act and the Clean Air Act.