California tells railroads to collect $45 per car for hazmat cargoes. Union Pacific, BNSF file lawsuit saying fees are unconstitutional.

California, on Monday, told railroads operating in the state that they will need to collect $45 per rail car that is carrying one of 25 hazardous materials within, into or out of the state. The list includes chemicals and petroleum products such as propane.

But railroads are pushing back in federal court, saying that the California law, signed on June 24, is in conflict with the constitution and other federal laws.

The California State Board of Equalization sent a letter, Monday, to rail operators telling them they need to collect the fee starting in October. California’s legislature passed emergency legislation in June, after news of a derailment of a train carrying crude oil in the...

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