Norfolk Southern Files Lawsuit Challenging Haul Route Permit; City Responds
On June 16, 2008, Norfolk Southern filed suit against the City in the United States District Court in Alexandria, claiming that the City's authority to require a Haul Route Permit for tanker trucks leaving Ethanol Transloading Facility is preempted by federal law.
The City's Haul Route Permit specifies that trucks leaving the facility take Metro road to Eisenhower Avenue, then proceed west on Eisenhower and south on Van Dorn Street to I-95. The City's Department of Transportation and Environmental Services determined that this is the safest route for the tanker trucks to use. The permit also limits truck traffic to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and restricts the volume of trucks to 20 per day.
The City requires haul route permits in order to protect public safety, and limit the disruption caused by heavy truck traffic, but Norfolk Southern claims the right to disregard the City's regulatory authority. On June 24, the City responded to the lawsuit, denying Norfolk Southern's claims, and seeking an injunction requiring Norfolk Southern to comply with the terms and conditions of the Haul Route Permit.