Nation IN BRIEF : FLORIDA : Fight Over Amtrak Sewage Goes to Trial

From Times staff and wire reports

Amtrak goes to trial in Palatka on criminal charges today for allegedly dumping raw sewage into Florida waterways. The railroad is charged with four counts of commercial littering and one count of creating or allowing a nuisance to health. The state charges were filed after Amtrak refused to stop dumping raw wastes on the tracks and into the St. Johns River and Rice Creek. Although the statutes call for fines and jail times, the state is merely seeking to have the practice stopped. Amtrak, which has been dumping along its rights of way under a federal law dating back more than a century, has threatened to suspend service to Florida if the state presses its case.

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