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Agency says its authority trumps California environmental law

We have previously written about many reasons why it is so important for business owners to consult an attorney experienced in environmental law if they have any questions about how certain business decisions and practices may be impacted by state and federal law. One of the primary reasons why it is important to maintain regular contact with an attorney if your business is particularly impacted by environmental law is that the law is always evolving.

For example, earlier this month the U.S. Surface Transportation Board ruled that its authority trumps California environmental law in regards to certain disputes. Specifically, the federal agency has insisted that because it has jurisdiction over the state’s bullet train, lawsuits seeking to challenge the rail line under state law conflict with the federal agency’s authority over the project.

This conflict of authority is just one example of the ways in which federal and state laws are constantly evolving. Not only are new environmental laws passed on a regular basis, the practical applications of these laws evolve as well. As this recent example illustrates, even the authorities under which these laws can be enforced or challenged tend to evolve as well.

An attorney experienced in matters involving California environmental law should be able to guide you and your business according to the most recent evolutions in state and federal law. Failure to consult an attorney as the law evolves could leave your business liable for failure to adhere to the most recent evolutions of these laws.

Source: Daily Reporter, “Federal agency rules it can pre-empt California environmental law related to high-speed rail,” Tom Verdin, Dec. 15, 2014

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