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DC hazmat ban takes effect Wednesday

(The Associated Press circulated the following article on April 19.)

WASHINGTON -- A DC law banning hazardous rail shipments near the U.S. Capitol building is scheduled to take effect Wednesday, unless a federal appeals court intervenes.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan refused to block the ban Monday, ruling that local officials have the right to regulate railroad safety if the federal government fails to address new risks.

DC officials passed the legislation February 1st, citing studies that show a terrorist attack on hazardous shipments could kill up to 100,000 people.

Rail operator CSX and several federal agencies have argued that rerouting trains around the city would be costly and interfere with interstate commerce.

CSX officials say they will immediately appeal Sullivan's ruling.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

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