The railroads helped scuttle a similar bill sponsored by the AQMD last year that would have allowed the agency to place a pollution fee on ships, airplanes and trains. Such a move would almost certainly be challenged in court as a violation of federal laws that give Washington oversight over railroads because of their importance to interstate commerce.
The AQMD wants the railroads to begin replacing diesel engines with hybrids and natural gas trains, and contends that the move could easily cut emissions 50% more than would be accomplished under the railroads' plan.
RAIL: With more trains serving local ports, the AQMD wants to impose a fee on locomotives that don't substantially cut emissions.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Lawrence K. Ho Los Angeles Times