PHOENIX – A bill to require new state reviews of railroad projects has survived a legal review by the Arizona Senate amid questions of whether the state would be violating federal law.
The bill would require railroads to notify the state about plans for new track and other facilities. The state would hold a hearing and convey any concerns and information to federal regulators.
Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe contend the bill would be unconstitutional because the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over railroad projects.
But the Senate Rules Committee is permitting the bill to advance, and the sponsor is expressing optimism about it becoming law.
Controversy over two Union Pacific projects in Arizona preceded the legislative proposal.