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DC ready to defend new hazmat law

(The Associated Press circulated the following article on February 16.)

WASHINGTON -- Now that Washington's mayor has signed a bill to ban hazardous chemicals from trucks and trains, the city is preparing to defend the law in court.

Mayor Tony Williams says he anticipates a challenge. But DC is getting ready to issue the regulation in the next few days.

The Department of Transportation is creating a permit that freighters will have to apply for. D-DOT says there will be markings to show which train cars are allowed through the city.

Williams says the law is necessary to protect residents from a possible terrorist attack. The D-C Council has cited studies that show an attack on some chemicals being transported through downtown could kill as many as 100-thousand people.

CSX, which owns the rails, says it doesn't want to re-route the materials through rural areas. Company officials have said it just transfers the risk someplace else.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

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