June 17, 2001
Rutland Herald

Railroad disputes state’s authority

Green Mountain Railroad is challenging the state’s authority to regulate where and how it can build structures like sheds.

The company said that as an interstate transport carrier it does not have to comply with state or local permits. Last week it appealed to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to be exempted from state and local permitting processes, and filed suit against the state in federal court.

The petitions seek to clarify the relationship between state and federal law and how they pertain to railroads, railroad attorney Robert Luce said.

“We should be doing it in accordance with federal law,” Luce said. “(The railroad doesn’t think) what we’ve done or what we’ve proposed to do is even subject to Act 250.”

The railroad has haggled with the district environmental commission over a salt shed it expanded in 1999. Luce said the railroad now is planning to build a concrete-storage silo at its station in Rockingham.