Maryland judge rules large oil shipment records are public

The Associated Press

A Maryland judge has ruled records describing large oil shipments by rail subject to disclosure under the Maryland Public Information Act.

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland judge has ruled records describing large oil shipments by rail subject to disclosure under the Maryland Public Information Act.

Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill's ruling was made late last week, and advocates for disclosure praised the ruling Monday.

Rail companies CSX and Norfolk Southern sued the Maryland Department of the Environment last summer to stop the state from releasing information about the routes and estimated amounts of crude oil traveling through the state. The court action came after news organizations, including The Associated Press, filed requests for disclosure.

Anne Havemann, counsel for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, says the ruling is a significant victory for transparency.

The court has stayed the order until Sept. 4 to give the companies time to consider whether they will appeal.

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