to expand the federal government's regulation of rail safety in areas it already possessed some limited power. The language of 45 U.S.C.A. § 434 and its legislative history conclusively rebut any such argument. The legislative history relied on by plaintiffs supports the proposition that the federal government is empowered to issue regulations under the new Act and all previous federal enactments and that the Federal Railroad Safety Act does not limit in any manner the federal government's power to regulate rail safety contained in previous enactments; the legislative history does not support the converse proposition that pre-existing statutes, such as the 1910 Accident Reports Act, limit the federal government's power to regulate under the 1970 Federal Railroad Safety Act. Furthermore, the 1910 Accident Reports Act does not guarantee to the states the right to establish railroad accident reporting requirements and hence the preemption of the states from this role under the Federal Railroad Safety Act does not contravene the Accident Reports Act.
In enacting the Federal Railroad Safety Act Congress was concerned not only with railroad safety, with respect to which Congress adopted the view that a nationally uniform system of regulation was more conducive to railroad safety than permitting each state to enact its own safety standards, but Congress was also concerned with the burdening of interstate commerce by subjecting the railroads to fifty different sets of regulations. Hence Congress empowered the federal government to establish a nationally uniform system of regulation of railroad safety, a goal attainable only by preemption of state requirements.
The court notes that the wisdom of either Congress' decision to enact the Federal Railroad Safety Act empowering the FRA to preempt the states in the field of rail safety or the wisdom of the FRA's decision to promulgate federal railroad accident reporting regulations which preempt state accident reporting requirements is not the issue here. The FRA's decision to preempt the states in the field of railroad accident reporting without first preempting the states completely with respect to substantive safety standards appears to the court to be putting the cart before the horse since each state's own safety regulations with respect to a given subject matter remain in effect until the FRA promulgates its standards on the same subject matter. Logically, the FRA should first preempt the states in all areas of railroad safety, pursuant to 45 U.S.C.A. § 434, and then preempt the states' railroad accident reporting requirements because it is possible that the states, to enforce their own safety standards with respect to subject matters the FRA has not yet promulgated its standards, need different information than the federal government presently needs to enforce its less than comprehensive regulations. Nevertheless, this court only has the power to decide whether the FRA has the authority under the Federal Railroad Safety Act to preempt state railroad accident reporting requirements, and the question of whether the FRA has exercised its authority wisely is beyond the permissible scope of review of the federal courts.
In summary, the Federal Railroad Safety Act, particularly 45 U.S.C.A. § 434, empowers the FRA to occupy the field of railroad safety, as evidenced by the pervasiveness of federal regulation provided for in the Act. The Act gives the FRA the power to decide what information the railroads must provide with respect to railroad accidents for purposes of furthering rail safety and to establish nationally uniform requirements with respect to the reporting of such information, thereby preempting the states and preventing them from superimposing their own requirements on the national standards for this purpose.
Plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief will be denied.
The foregoing shall constitute the court's findings of fact and conclusions of law.