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Air Board Refuses To Scrap Agreement With Railroads

Sacramento, CA — State air regulators have refused to scrap an agreement with two railroads that are supposed to reduce railyard pollution by 20 percent.

A motion to terminate the agreement with Union Pacific Railroad and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway drew only two votes today from members of the California Air Resources Board.

Three members opposed it and two abstained. The agreement includes provisions requiring the railroads to eliminate unnecessary engine idling at the yards, quickly repair smoking engines and begin maximum use of low-sulfur diesel fuel in locomotives six years sooner than required by federal regulations.

The pact has been criticized by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The Los Angeles area agency is considering tougher idling standards than those in the state agreement.