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74 tional information for local governments on costs to railroads High would not change their policy preferences. Concern about Adverse Freight System Impacts Case 1 Security Policy Security policies, nearly all Federal, present a somewhat Case 2 mixed picture. By the time DHS issued its final TWIC rule, it had acquired a great deal of information and heard industry Case 3 concerns in detail. Much of industry concern was addressed when DHS dropped the requirement for a real-time cardreader Low from the final rule. DHS acted in full knowledge of the con- Low High sequences; this was a Case 1 policy choice. When considering Understanding of Freight System and Impacts of Policy on System the fingerprinting requirement for outbound ships and planes, it appears that DHS was largely focused on passenger carriers Figure 6-1. Three cases for decision-making context. and simply did not think about effects on air cargo or ocean carriage. Better information might have changed the policy decision, so this is a Case 2 example. The requirement for 100 percent screening of belly cargo for passenger planes came Summary Discussion from Congress. The effect is likely to be significant changes This section briefly discusses how these three cases for in the way domestic air cargo moves, as cargo shifts away decision-making context apply to the public policies reviewed from passenger carriers. As illustrated in the case study in in this report. The application of this framework is inherently Section 5, it is unlikely that these impacts were fully expected. subjective, and others might argue with the case category The research team considers this a Case 2 choice; more infor- applied to some policy examples. Nonetheless, this frame- mation on the consequences might or might not have resulted work illustrates that a significant portion of policy decisions in a different regulation. (those identified as Cases 1 or 3) would not likely change as a result of better information on freight system impacts. Land Use Policy Land use issues are in the domain of local governments; Safety Policy these are issues in which city councils, county boards, and plan- Safety policy areas are primarily at the Federal level, with the ning commissions are responding to quality-of-life concerns exception of state speed limits and local restrictions on loco- and the desire for local economic development. But some of motive horn use, which involve both local governments and them are also issues where additional information may be the USDOT. For HOS (trucking and rail) and horn restric- helpful. One example relates to truck terminals. From the tions, considerable information is available to the USDOT interviews, the research team learned that local governments and Congress, and both entities are aware of impacts on the will sometimes encourage a cluster of distribution centers-- freight system. At the Federal level, these are Case 1 policy sources of taxes and jobs--but be unwilling to allow a truck areas. This is also true, to a degree, for speed limits and gov- terminal in the same cluster because of its perceived negative ernors, although it may be that both Congress and the Exec- impacts. This is a case where the authorities could be shown utive Branch could benefit from a better understanding of that trucks must bring goods to and from the distribution freight impacts. States do not likely understand the impacts centers in any event and forbidding a truck terminal in the of differential speed limits for trucks and might change their distribution center cluster may actually increase truck traffic, policies with more information; the research team considers noise, and emissions on local roads. this policy a Case 2. Recent history suggests that, in the face of demand for Local restrictions on locomotive horns at grade crossings residential, office, and retail redevelopment, preservation of are a Case 3 issue. Presented with abundant data on the crashes harborfront land for port and related freight uses will be a hard that result from banning horns, localities have persisted with sell in many cities. However, the case study in Section 5 shows bans (see Section 4). Grade-crossing crashes impose some cost how local officials' understanding of freight system impacts on railroads in dealing with legal issues that might arise and can sometimes lead to a solution that satisfies the competing temporary effects on operations. Also, the rule that the USDOT interests. On balance, the research team categorizes land use finally issued allows horn bans to remain in place under cer- decisions as Case 2; additional information on the freight sys- tain conditions, one of which is reduced train speed. Addi- tem and policy impacts can make a difference.
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75 Environmental Policy that the potential for negative impacts on railroads has not, thus far, been given much consideration. Whether it would Environmental policy decisions occur within various con- make a difference in a final decision is unclear, but this is an texts. At the Federal level, EPA rules that directly affect freight example where additional information could make a differ- carriers almost always involve an attempt to quantify freight ence. So this is a Case 2 example. industry impact. This has been the case for air quality regula- Renewable fuel standards and incentives also fall in the tions, such as diesel engine emissions standards and the pro- Case 2 category. These include ethanol and biodiesel man- posed sulfur oxide Emission Control Area for ships. Inland dates as well as fuel-neutral low carbon fuel standards. To waterway towing company executives commended EPA for date, the Federal policy decisions have mostly been made in its handling of these policies, and industry experts in all modes Congress, where support for agriculture appeared to be a main believe the negative impacts of these rules to date have been driver in decisions, action was taken with little information minimal. There remains uncertainty about the potential on the impact on the freight system. Although the research impacts of the most stringent standards for locomotives and team's interviews suggest that there have been no negative marine engines (Tier 4). Nonetheless, this is clearly a Case 1 freight system impacts to date, the potential for such impacts, example. EPA's policy decisions have been informed by an such as higher fuel costs or engine maintenance costs, clearly understanding of freight system impacts and a desire to exists. Both state and Federal policy-making in this area could minimize adverse impacts where possible. benefit from more information on freight system impacts. Disposal of dredging spoil can involve all levels of govern- ment, as discussed in Section 4. Local authorities have protested and filed lawsuits to delay dredging projects. In many cases, the Operations and Maintenance Policy prolonged resistance of local authorities has made it clear that they are indifferent to any economic gains for their region that State-imposed route restrictions on trucks appear to be a might come from a deeper channel. On the face of it, one would Case 2 example. In devising these restrictions, state govern- suppose that local officials would be open to the economic- ments (e.g., New Jersey and New York) are clearly focused on development argument, especially in light of competition quality-of-life issues. It also appears that they have given some among ports. But the record suggests otherwise, so the research consideration to the economic effects of restricting truck oper- team considers this a Case 3 example. When Federal and state ations and believe they have struck the right balance between policymakers get involved in these decisions, there is clearly quality of life and the efficiency of freight movement. Nonethe- a need for better information about freight system impacts, less, it is possible that additional or better information might and such information could influence decisions. lead to some adjustment in their choices. With regard to local Vessel-discharge rules are an oddity. This is a case where a government restriction on truck routing and parking and Federal court extended existing rules to cover inland waterways, resistance to increased rail traffic, these are clearly Case 3 exam- although EPA had always construed the law not to cover inland ples. Additional information would not change decisions. barges and towboats. Better information on the freight system Federal size and weight rules for trucks were revised in would not have changed the judge's mind. Barge-industry 1982 after lengthy debate and were somewhat revised again executives believed that EPA needed more information on tow- in 1991. Abundant data were available to inform these ing operations before applying discharge rules to them. So the debates. Since then, the U.S. DOT conducted a major size research team considers this a Case 2 choice for EPA. and weight study in 2000, and TRB has conducted several State and local idling restrictions are generally a Case 3 exam- studies at the request of Congress and recommended pilot ple. Truck and locomotive idling is considered a nuisance tests of increased limits. Although these studies further the and largely unnecessary. Information about freight system understanding of potential freight system impacts, Con- impacts would not likely change these decisions. Moreover, gress has taken no additional action since 1991 that has many observers of both the truck and rail industries believe made any real change to size and weight rules. This appears the idling restrictions work to the long-run benefit of both to be a Case 2 example at the federal level and a Case 3 industries because of fuel savings. In the case of California's example at the state level. The research team's interviews truck idling regulation, it appears that policymakers did ana- showed industry concern about state size and weight rules lyze impacts of the rule. in the western states. The concern is not about the absolute levels of the limits but about variations among states. It is likely that state governments have only limited concern Energy and Climate Change Policy about the system effects of these rule variations, since their The energy and climate change policy developments have main focus is on conditions and operational requirements been occurring at both the Federal and state level. Regarding in their own states. Better information on the costs of dif- national or regional GHG cap and trade policies, it appears fering rules would probably not affect these states' choices.