Editor-in-Chief Commentary

Welcome to the first Editor-in-Chief commentary under the ATLP’s new blog format.  As you probably know or have deduced, ATLP has transitioned Association Highlights from a bi-monthly newsletter format publishing six issues per year to a blog format endeavoring to publish weekly.  Under this new format, you will continue to receive informative transportation content delivered via email.  You can access the Association Highlights blog posts at the ATLP website, https://www.atlp.org/association-highlights-blog.  We hope that you find this new format to make it easier for you to read all of the high-quality content produced by the ATLP Highlights editors.

Since kicking off the blog format in late summer/early fall, we have published a wide-range of articles comprising all transportation modes ˗ aviation, maritime, motor carriage, and passenger and freight rail.  We also published articles on the transportation of hazardous materials and labor issues, while ATLP Executive Director, Lauren Michalski, has provided information on ATLP’s coming annual meeting in Vancouver.

We believe this blog format is better equipped to provide timely transportation law developments from federal regulatory agencies, the courts, and state regulators. 

Over the last six months our editors have explored a variety of timely developments.  Our aviation editors covered a recent court decision considering federal jurisdiction as applied to an aircraft manufacturer that self-certified a helicopter involved in a fatal crash.  The issue is of particular interest now given the, self-certification process underlying the Boeing 737 MAX controversy.  Also providing a timely update on an issue in the news, our maritime editor wrote about recent IMO guidance on the Novel Coronavirus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The freight and rail editors each provided updates from the Surface Transportation Board with the freight rail editors discussing demurrage as well as providing a general STB update amongst other informative articles.   Our passenger rail editors provided an STB update for negotiating trail use agreements on rail banked lines as well as reporting out recent congressional action and Amtrak’s addition of a mandatory arbitration clause to its passenger tickets.

The motor carrier editor reviewed recent developments in California pertaining to the classification of employees as independent contractors.  Staying in California, our Labor editors provided an analysis of the California Consumer Privacy Act and understanding the role of the National Labor Relations Act. Finally, continuing our west coast theme, our Hazardous Materials editors considered a Washington State law impacting the transportation of Bakken crude oil.

As we are now in an election year, we will be watching to see how the regulatory agencies proceed with, and courts respond to, controversial new rulemakings intended to roll back the last administration’s regulatory efforts.  But also worth keeping an eye on is how new issues, like the Coronavirus, impacts transportation regulation. 

Thank you for reading.

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