Appeals court rules on AQMD train pollution lawsuit

A federal appeals court has ruled that Southern California air regulators cannot limit pollution from idling trains because that could preempt federal interstate commerce law.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday that restrictions imposed in 2005 and 2006 by the South Coast Air Quality Management District could unreasonably burden interstate railroad activity, which is a federal responsibility.

The ruling is a victory for the Assn. of American Railroads and the BNSF and Union Pacific companies, who sued to have the district's rules overturned.

The AQMD says emissions from trains are a health risk.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.