February Hot topics

Train Norfolk Southern Ohio Train Derailment

On February 3, 2023, a mixed-freight train carrying vinyl chloride and other hazardous chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. The train, operated by Norfolk Southern Railway, was transporting 1.1 million of pounds of vinyl chloride using in PVC manufacturing, along with thousands of pounds of other hazardous material including butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether and other chemicals used in plastics manufacturing.

Meeting the next big challenge for public transportation in 2023

Today, nearly every major city has integrated ridesharing, scooters, bikes and carsharing with public transit services for a seamless rider experience. This was a huge step forward in the interoperability of transportation services.

Delivering Results from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

To date, over 20,000 projects have been awarded funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. They range from repaving roads and water system upgrades funded through formula grants to states to competitive funding for massive bridge and transit projects.


Maryland has a long history of enacting racist transportation policy that disproportionately impacts Black and Brown people. From the Highway to Nowhere, to Governor Hogan’s 2015 cancellation of the Red Line light rail project, too many transportation planning decisions have had devastating impacts on our communities.

The Transportation Equity Act requires prior analysis of any service changes or project developments to Maryland’s roadways, sea port, airport, and bus or rail system.

It will convene a group of stakeholders from different backgrounds to examine the impact of such changes on the surrounding communities, uncover disparate impacts across race and class lines, and propose amendments to ensure equitable outcomes for all.

Rhode Island Pay Equity Law

A big change is coming for employers in the Ocean State.  On January 1, 2023, Rhode Island’s new pay equity legislation (the “Act”) goes into effect.  Last year, Rhode Island joined a legion of states to enact sweeping pay equity legislation when Governor Daniel J. McKee signed the pay equity bill into law.  The Act seeks to combat wage discrimination by strengthening and closing gaps in existing wage discrimination laws. With only a few months remaining until the Act goes into effect, here is what Rhode Island employers need to know.

Economic Impact Of Public Transportation Investment

Groundbreaking analysis measures public transportation’s impact on the nation’s economic productivity for the first time. Investment in transit can yield 49,700 jobs per $1 billion invested, and offers a 5 to 1 economic return. Investment offers productivity gains long after the short-term stimulative effect. Download the 2020 Report Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment.

Bringing Together Diverse Backgrounds
for Better Solutions

Inclusion, equity and diversity are a fundamental part of who we are – and a core principle we live by every day. From our very first days as a law firm, we’ve believed that a culture that prioritizes inclusivity leads to better outcomes – for both us and our clients. And it’s why we continue to instill an atmosphere of collaboration in everything we do.

DeSantis takes over Disney district, punishing company

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that gives him control of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district, punishing the company over its opposition to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The bill requires DeSantis, a Republican, to appoint a five-member board to oversee the government services that the Disney district provides in its sprawling theme park properties in Florida.

Rights to ‘Crying Indian’ ad to go to Native American group

Since its debut in 1971, an anti-pollution ad showing a man in Native American attire shed a single tear at the sight of smokestacks and litter taking over a once unblemished landscape has become an indelible piece of TV pop culture.

It’s been referenced over the decades since on shows like “The Simpsons” and “South Park” and in internet memes. But now a Native American advocacy group that was given the rights to the long-parodied public service announcement is retiring it, saying it has always been inappropriate.

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