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On Feb. 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a notice and request for comment regarding authorization of new California regulations requiring drastically lowered emissions for locomotives operated on railways within the state.

The regulations, implemented by the California Air Resources Board, state that all locomotives in California must be zero-emission models by 2030. To date, no such commercially viable zero-emission locomotives exist. The enormous cost of compliance with this regulation would likely have national impacts on the railway system, creating new logistical challenges for a key part of the supply chain and potentially leading to significantly increased construction material prices. The Washington Legal Foundation’s advisory notice provides additional details on the regulation.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must approve CARB’s regulations before they can be finalized. ABC plans to join a coalition of industry stakeholders in comments opposing CARB’s regulations and urging EPA to deny the request.

ABC members can take action to oppose these overreaching regulations by submitting comments through the Association of American Railroads’ grassroots portal before the April 22 comment deadline.