Governor Markell Signs Locomotive Idling Regulation Bill

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Delaware Governor, Jack Markell, has signed SB-135, a bill aimed at restricting nonessential locomotive idling into law, earlier this afternoon.

The Governor’s Press Secretary, Kelly M. Bachman, confirmred that the bill was enacted, but was not at liberty to comment further in light of Norfolk Southern’s federal challenge to the jursitiction, intent, scope and effect of the legislation.

Norfolk and Southern, a major interstate Class I railroad serving large portions of the South, Northeast and Midwest regions of the U.S., filed an acclelerated motion for declaratory judgement with the US Surface Transportation Board on August 4, 2015 contending that state and local regulations of raiload operations are explicitly precluded by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA).

16 thoughts on “Governor Markell Signs Locomotive Idling Regulation Bill”

  1. I really don’t understand why he signed this bill, except for his socialist Obama agenda. Why do they inhibit a train’s diesel engine from running for a couple of hours while at a station point. These trains are constantly taking on cars and and leaving cars at different locations and it costs the company a lot of money to shut down the engines for what is considered brief interchanges.

  2. Don, it is the left wing radicals in Delaware City who live near the tracks that inspired this job-killing regulation. They were complaining about noise because they think it is the government’s job to keep things quiet at night. Bastards.

  3. The NS filing raised a serious federal challenge to the validity of SB 135 , citing the ICCTA.

    The question of how much money will the State of Delaware waste, spend or “invest” ( depending upon one’s perspective ) defending the legislation in federal court remains open.

    Also, it would be interesting to know to what degree (if any) was applicable federal law researched in drafting state legislation in more complex cases as this having clear federal implications at the interface.

  4. I agree, Wolf.

    Regulation of locomotive operations, like the regulation of a lot of things, is too important to allow local jurisdictions to have a say in them.

    When local government has too much power, you end up with chaos.

    I am glad that Norfolk Southern is standing up for federal regulations established by the relevant agency in Washington instead of bowing to the dictatorial whims of local elected representatives.

  5. The county sheriffs should decide whether or not to enforce the federal law or the local law on this issue, based on whether the sheriff deems the federal rules to be Constitutional.

  6. Nitpicker August 15, 2015 at 12:19 “The county sheriffs should decide whether or not to enforce the federal law or the local law on this issue, based on whether the sheriff deems the federal rules to be Constitutional.”

    Should the County Sheriff decide to make NCC a sanctuary city (County)and not enforce the immigration laws p by Congress?

  7. The New Castle County Sheriff already does not have any law enforcement duties, so it wouldn’t really make a difference now would it?

  8. Leave it to Delaware to screw up the definition of Conservator of the Peace.

    Guys , pardon the pun but we are getting off track and derailing the conversation.

    Can we stick to the issue at hand?

  9. In Delaware, there is no law, except what the ruling party says is law. Supreme court Justice Holland proved that once and for all in his opinion. He ruled against the Delaware Constitution’s Article 15, section 1, which clearly states
    that, “The sheriffs SHALL be the CONSERVATORS OF THE PEACE, in the counties in which they reside respectively.” He based his decision on case law and what he called, “Delaware history” and never considered Delaware’s Constitution in his poorly written opinion.
    I think the Delaware Constitution is clearly written in the regard of the sheriff’s duties, but Delaware’s Supreme court allowed the state legislature to disregard the people wishes and the constitution by passing an illegal statute HB 325, 2013. Thank you Pete Schwartzkopf and Danny Short for your illegal acts and for robbing Delaware’s people of a Constitutional sheriff.

  10. You guys are still opining about the Sheriff? I don’t think anyone cares anymore. We have plenty of cops in Delaware to do the job. The idea of the Sheriff protecting the County from the State or the Feds was always just a pipe dream, and the guy doing the dreaming was voted out by the people.

    Tell me one thing that Sheriff Christopher ever did to supersede the authority of the State or the Feds while he claimed to have all this power he had. Why didn’t he use this power?
    It was always just an exercise in self promotion. He ran around out of State ,and tried to gain publicity..

    In the end, so what if they call the police a sheriff or deputy in some other states. It’s just nomenclature anyway. Law enforcement has no power over the legislature (the people), and if they did, that would be considered tyranny.

  11. These trains are idling for a reason. If they weren’t, they would shut down to conserve fuel and save money.

  12. Mainly maintaining air brakes, safety systems, cab environment and control console. Perhaps this problem can be solved with auxiliary generators.

  13. So, Don, your point here is that the federal rules on locomotives, whatever they may be, should trump locally-enacted legislation.

    Is that correct?

  14. “The EPA has preempted state and local regulation of locomotives.”

    Well, thank goodness the bureaucrats in Washington know better than state and local elected officials.

  15. Like it or not, federal prececent for regulation of railroads was set in the late 19th Century. Uniform national air quality standards for diesel locomotive emissions are an extension of formative legal principles established.

Comments are closed.