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Hazardous Trains

Hearing Wednesday on hazmat trains law 

Judges at the US Court of Appeals will hear arguments today in the dispute over Washington D-C's new law banning hazardous rail shipments in the city.

Freight railroad CSX and the Justice Department will each have 15 minutes to argue their case, as will the opposing side of the District of Columbia Attorney General and the Sierra Club. The case is being closely watched by other cities with similar hazmat concerns. CSX argues that rerouting trains would add hundreds of miles and days of transit time. Mayor Tony Williams signed the law in February, citing studies that show a terrorist attack on a rail car containing chlorine could kill up to 100-thousand people.

The freight trains pass through an area containing government buildings and residences not far from the Capitol building. A lower court ruled in favor of the city.

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