Transportation Law and Policy
It is particularly true in Transportation Law and Policy that, sometimes half the journey is knowing where to start. Like much of government, each technological innovation in transportation results in a new set of regulations—often administered by a new agency, which itself is likely to share overlapping jurisdiction with other governmental bodies.
Transportation Law and Policy stretches across a wide array of Federal, state and local government agencies that require environmental and archeological assessments and, depending on the authorizing legislation and funding source, impose different labor standards and sourcing requirements for contractors. A myriad of additional rules come into play depending on the cargo involved or, when a vessel leaves U.S. territory, international organizations (e.g., MARCOR) impose different standards that may result in port-refusal or influence cargo reinsurance rates.
Persons and cargo may be transportable on parallel routes by ship, air, rail or water, but different regulatory agencies come into play depending on the means of transportation and the cargo. In the U.S., agencies are often charged with both the promotion and regulation of transportation sectors through an ‘alphabet soup’ of sub-cabinet and independent agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Urban Mass Transit Agency (UMTA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the semi-independent Federal Maritime Administration (FMC)—whose Jones Act authority stretches from the nationality of ships, unionization of crews, and even reaches into the siting of LNG Terminals. Clients may think they have “DoT approval” when they walk out the door from one of these agencies, without realizing that other sub-cabinet and semi-autonomous units of the same agency have yet to weigh in. We work with these agencies for our clients seeking project grants and permits, draft comments on proposed regulations to ‘translate’ our client’s position into the language of the bureaucracy, and assist on compliance with final regulations.
Within Congress, Transportation Law and Policy also crosses overlapping jurisdictional lines of the Senate Committees on Environment & Public Works (i.e., “infrastructure”), Energy & Natural Resources (i.e. oil and gas are cargo), and Finance (i.e., taxes)—as well as the Appropriations Committees (i.e., spending on all of the above). In the House, the Energy & Commerce, Transportation & Infrastructure, Ways & Means and omnipresent Appropriations Committees play major roles is everything from ports to highway funding and routes. Because of our relationships with the Chairs of each of those Senate and several House subcommittees, we can assist clients in developing their legislative proposals, as well as in collaboration with trade associations and ad-hoc coalitions with interests in your project. Infrastructure projects and dedicated revenue streams also touch upon a wide array of interests and ‘unwritten histories’—for example, Lady Bird Johnson’s “Highway Beautification” efforts, which evolved into “Enhancements” that now include set-asides for bicycle trails, old railway routes and conservation easements.
The Law Offices of Terry T. Campo PLLC and its team (at The Campo Group, Ltd.) have worked in each of these sectors and on a wide range of issues advising clients regarding legal and policy issues for project development and implementation. Our lawyers and other professionals have significant experience with laws governing highway, public transit, airports and seaports, public-private partnerships, and finance—as well as their policy justifications. We have long-established relationships with former Transportation Secretaries from four of the last five Presidential Administrations, along with the current Administration, as well as the Chairs of the key Congressional Committees. Our firm’s principal, Terry T. Campo, was recruited by several of them to head the U.S. Department of Transportation's pipelines, HAZMAT, and space divisions during the Reagan and Bush Administrations. Other lawyers and professionals on our team include the Executive Director, General Counsel and Congressional Relations’ head of Chicago-area regional transportation authorities and the federal mass transit agency.
Terry T. Campo is also a historical aviation enthusiast and member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, as well as the U.S. Parachute Association.
- Provided confidential advice on legal and policy issues of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proceedings concerning grandfathering of tariffs and the audit of natural gas supplied to Enron, for the largest publicly-traded pipeline partnership managing a refined petroleum products pipeline system in the U.S.
- Coordinated U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) antitrust jurisdiction on pipelines issues with the Department of Energy’s energy policy in Hartigan v. Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company (Case No. 85-2601), where the State of Illinois appealed decision of federal district court that indirect purchasers (Illinois consumers) were barred from bringing antitrust suit against interstate natural gas pipeline company, where the utility had passed on pipeline’s overcharges in higher utility rates.
- Assisted in preparation of memoranda and briefs in various cases asserting that decisions on permanent nuclear waste storage by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. DoT licensing under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA) preempted state and local regulations concerning the transportation of spent fuel rods.
- Oversaw drafting of appeal from DoT/HMTA determination that a transit fee imposed on titled nominal owners of spent nuclear fuel traversing the state of Illinois was not inconsistent with federal preemption because it redirects, restricts and delays transportation of nuclear waste to government-owned repositories.
- Authored report and multiple Op-Eds on Federal and state petroleum taxes, and their diversion to other purposes, such as “Highway Beautification” and bicycle paths, as counter-argument to raising taxes for neglected infrastructure.
- Provided comments challenging Department of Transportation characterization of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) Standards’ Miles Per Gallon (MPG) regulations as satisfying energy conservation objectives of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in U.S. Department of Energy report to IEA.
- Conducted project assessment, including availability of international financial guarantees, for the upgrade of railroad bed and port facilities' rail-alternative to trans-shipment of container cars across Guatemala for member of U.S. Commission for the Study of Alternatives to the Panama Canal.
- Negotiated leasing terms for conversion of underutilized civilian airport located in Central Asian former Soviet Republic into transit and supply depot for U.S. airlift operations.
- Represented Australian LNG company in contacts with Federal Maritime Commission for siting of terminal in California.
- Provided confidential advice for commercial real estate developer attempting to resolve aircraft safety issues arising because of building heights near Miramar Naval Air Station.
- Advised Venezuelan client in obtaining FAA licensing and registration of aircraft purchased at auction.