California Hazmat Charge

Announcement Number: CN2016-25
Categories: General Announcements
Posted Date: October 19, 2016

To Our Customers,

In June 2015, California passed a law imposing a charge on owners of certain hazardous materials transported by rail. The regulations became final on June 20, 2016, and the law requires collection of the charge beginning Nov. 13, 2016.

For shipments of the 25 listed hazardous commodities provided in the regulations, the charge is set at $45 per "railcar" (including intermodal), plus a collection fee. Railroads are required to collect the charge and remit it to the California Board of Equalization. The charges collected are designated for the purchase of regional hazmat equipment along with training for and responding to both rail and truck incidents.

Union Pacific has opposed this new charge in the California legislature, and Union Pacific and BNSF Railway filed a joint federal lawsuit on July 29, 2016, challenging the charge as a violation of numerous federal laws. The court heard arguments on Oct. 13, 2016, but has not yet offered a ruling.

Unless the court directs otherwise or the state extends the deadline, on Nov. 13, the law requires Union Pacific to collect $45 per rail car for shipments of the listed hazardous commodities transported in California. In addition, Union Pacific will bill a $2.25 collection fee for each of those shipments as authorized by statute. We oppose this hazmat charge and will provide updates as needed.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your Union Pacific representative. 

Hazardous Material Commodity

UN Number



Alcohols, N.O.S.


Ammonia, Anhydrous


Ammonium Hydroxide; also shipped as Ammonia Solutions

2073, 2672, 3318

Calcium Hypochlorite

1748, 2208, 2880, 3485, 3486, 3487



Corrosive Liquid, Basic, Inorganic. N.O.S.


Diesel Fuel; also shipped as Fuel Oil; also shipped as Gas Oil

1202, 1993

Environmentally Hazardous Substances, Liquid, N.O.S.


Ethanol; also shipped as Ethyl Alcohol


Gasoline; when shipped as Flammable Liquid, N.O.S.; when shipped as Hydrocarbons, Liquid, N.O.S.; also shipped as Gasohol; also shipped as Motor Spirit; also shipped as Petrol

1203, 1993, 3295

Hydrogen Peroxide

2014, 2015, 2984, 3149

Liquefied Petroleum Gas; also shipped as LPG; also shipped as Liquefied Gas, Flammable, N.O.S.

1075, 3161

Methanol; also shipped as Methyl Alcohol


Methyl Ethyl Ketone


Nitric Acid

2031, 2032

Petroleum Crude Oil; also shipped as Petroleum Oil; also shipped as Oil, Petroleum

1267, 1270


1671, 2312, 2821

Phosphoric Acid

1805, 3453

Potassium Hydroxide; also shipped as Caustic Potash

1813, 1814


1075, 1077, 3138

Sodium Hydroxide; also shipped as Caustic Soda

1823, 1824, 3320

Sulfuric Acid; also shipped as Sulphuric Acid

1830, 1831, 1832, 2796



Vinyl Acetate