Peter A. Pfohl
- (202) 347-7170
- (202) 347-3619
Peter Pfohl is a partner at Slover & Loftus LLP specializing in transportation, energy, administrative law, and legislative matters. He has been with the firm since 1997, and has represented a wide variety of clients, including railroad consumers, trade associations, state and local entities, and short-line and regional railroads. Mr. Pfohl actively participates in administrative adjudications, rulemakings, and hearings, in court litigation and appeals, and in the legislative arena. Prior to joining Slover & Loftus LLP, Mr. Pfohl worked as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill covering transportation, energy, and other issues.
Mr. Pfohl has actively represented individual entities and trade association clients in virtually every major policy proceeding before the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) over the last 15 years, including in proceedings involving railroad competition, railroad rate regulation, railroad service, the common carrier obligation, railroad fuel surcharges, railroad commodity and class exemptions, complaint filing fees, administrative alternative dispute resolution, and railroad indemnity/liability. He has also been involved in numerous administrative adjudications in a wide variety of matters, including rail rate cases, railroad mergers, unreasonable practice cases, declaratory order proceedings, and railroad construction and abandonment cases. In addition, Mr. Pfohl has been engaged in a variety of court litigation, arbitration, and appellate matters, with a focus on rail transportation and energy supply disputes.
Mr. Pfohl has also assisted clients in the negotiation and administration of transportation service agreements, coal supply agreements, and railcar purchase and lease agreements. He has counseled clients on Federal Railroad Administration, Railroad Retirement Board, and Association of American Railroad Interchange Rules safety and compliance matters; performed due diligence in railroad and rail assets acquisition transactions; helped negotiate and implement trackage rights arrangements for receivers and shippers of rail; and advised investors on railroad policy and administrative risk matters. In addition, Mr. Pfohl leads the firm’s legislative practice, and has been a leading participant and advocate for railroad customers in STB reauthorization, railroad reform, and railroad antitrust matters before the United States Congress.
Representative Legal Matters
Regularly represents leading shipper trade organization before regulators, the courts, and Congress seeking to promote pro-competitive railroad activities and practices and effective regulatory policies (e.g., in proceedings addressing railroad competition; rate regulation; rail fuel-surcharges; railroad coal dust tariffs; railroad acquisition premium pass-throughs; complaint filing fees, etc.).
Successfully represented regional railroad and leading shipper trade association in administrative and appellate review proceedings approving the largest railroad construction project in modern history to reach the western coal mines against significant environmental law challenges.
Successfully represented public and private clients in railroad abandonment and rail acquisition and operation administrative proceedings, preserving vital common carrier service to communities and businesses.
Part of legal teams successfully representing clients in several nationally prominent actions overcoming federal preemption challenges to state property rights and tort actions under the ICC Termination Act and the Federal Railroad Safety Act.
Part of legal teams successfully representing utility coal shippers in challenges to rail rates, including a decision issued by the STB in 2009 awarding approximately $350 million in reparations and rate reductions (as estimated by the STB) and which the STB described as “the single largest reduction in rail rates ever awarded by this agency.”
Part of legal teams successfully representing clients in several breach of contract and force majeure disputes under rail transportation and commodity supply agreements, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in savings and damages avoidance.
Part of legal teams successfully representing public and private clients in rail merger proceedings in obtaining various competitive and environmental/safety protective conditions.
Frequently represents and advises clients regarding federal and state laws and regulations involving the transportation of hazardous materials and federal preemption matters, and on PHMSA and FRA hazardous materials enforcement matters, regulations, and rulemakings involving railcar equipment.
District of Columbia Bar
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
University of Notre Dame (B.A. 1989)
Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America (J.D., cum laude, 1997)
Member of the Catholic University of America Law Review
“Who Should Pay for Agency Adjudication? A Study of $200,000 Filing Fees at the Surface Transportation Board,” 25 Transp. L.J. 57 (1997)
“Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking: the 104th Congress and the Salvage Timber Directive,” 14 J. L. & Pol. 1 (1998).
Presentations & Events
"M&A Activity in the Railway Industry: What's Coming Down the Track?," Association of Transportation Law Professionals 91st Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., July 14, 2020.
"Update on STB," Association of Transportation Law Professionals Transportation Forum XV, Washington D.C., Nov. 5, 2018.
“Emerging Issues in Rail Transportation,” Canadian Transport Lawyers Association 2016 Conference. Toronto, Canada, Sept. 23, 2016
“Comparison of Canadian & U.S. Regulation Impacting Shippers & Carriers,” 30th Annual Conference on Transportation Innovation & Cost Savings, Toronto, Canada, Sept. 26, 2016
“Transportation Officials Panel,” Moderator, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, 87th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2016
“Congressional Passage of Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Legislation – Review and Implications For Shippers of Coal,” Presentation Before the Western Coal Traffic League, Phoenix, Arizona, Feb. 10, 2016
"Challenges Facing Coal Shippers," Presenter, 2015 American Public Power Association (APPA) National Conference & Public Power Expo, Minneapolis, MN, 2015
Annual Meeting Program Chair, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, 85th Annual Meeting, Annapolis, Maryland, June 2014
“Growth of Hazmat Rail Shipments: Fall-Out, Issues, and Implications for Coal Shippers,” Presentation Before the Western Coal Traffic League, Phoenix, Arizona, Feb. 20, 2014
"Update on Rail Legislative/Regulatory Issues," Peter A. Pfohl, Presenter, Midwest Association of Rail Shippers, Summer Meeting, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, July 9, 2013
"Marketing Developments and the Future Role of the Short Lines in the Rail Industry." Peter A. Pfohl, Panel Organizer and Presenter, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, 84th Annual Meeting, Atlantic Beach, Florida, June 25, 2013
“Railroad Transportation Regulatory and Related Developments,” Peter A. Pfohl, Presenter, National Mining Association, Transportation Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C., June 20, 2013
“Rail Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Review,” Presentation, Western Coal Traffic League, Winter Meeting, Phoenix, AZ Feb. 13, 2013
“Railroad Transportation Regulatory Update,” Briefing, National Mining Association, Washington, DC, Dec. 18, 2012
“Railroad Transportation Regulatory and Related Developments,” Briefing, Steel Manufacturers Association, Transportation Committee, Washington, DC, Nov. 13, 2012
“Update on Rail Regulatory Proceedings,” Moderator, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, Transportation Forum IX, Washington, DC, Nov. 9, 2012
“Railroad Regulation, the SJVR, and the Proposed G&W/RailAmerica Merger,” Briefing, Central California Rail Shippers & Receivers Association, Tulare, CA, Aug. 29, 2012
"Rail Policy Regulatory Developments," Presentation and Panelist, Association of Transportation Law Professions, 83rd Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, June 15, 2012
"The State of North American Surface Competition and Trade," Panel Organizer and Moderator, Association of Transportation Law Professions, 83rd Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, June 14, 2012
“Contracting with Railroads – Then and Now,” Presentation Before the Western Coal Traffic League, Winter Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, Feb. 15, 2012
Rail Lawyers Square Off On Regulatory Paths, Argus Coal Transp., Oct. 4, 2011, at 8 (quoted extensively on status of STB hearings on rail competition and exempt traffic policies)
“To Act or Not to Act’ – That is the Question,” Presentation and Panelist, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, Transportation Forum VIII, Washington, DC, Oct. 3, 2011 (panel addressed STB hearings on rail competition and exempt rail traffic)
Josh Mitchell, Railroads, Shippers Face Off, Freight Customers Complain of Lack of Competition, Rising Rates at Hearing, Wall St. J., June 23, 2011, at B3 (quoted extensively on state of rail competition from testimony before the STB in hearing in Ex Parte No. 705, Competition in the Railroad Industry)
“Show Me the Money,” Panel Organizer and Moderator, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, 82nd Annual Meeting, Memphis, TN, June 27, 2011 (organized and moderated panel, including FRA Chief Counsel, addressing federal investment programs for passenger and freight transportation systems)
“Railroad Legislation 2010, Is ‘Now or Never’ Now Only ‘Never’? – A Post Mortem and a Look at the Future,” Presentation Before the Western Coal Traffic League, Winter Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, Feb. 16, 2011
“Railroad Reform Legislation: To Be Or Not to Be?” Presentation and Panelist, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, 81st Annual Meeting, St. Michaels, MD, June 28, 2010 (panel addressed railroad reform and railroad antitrust legislation and prospects)
“Duty of Railroads to Provide a Rate and/or Service – It May Not Be as Simple As You Think,” Presentation and Panelist, Canadian Transport Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Niagra-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Oct. 2, 2009 (panel addressed railroad common carrier obligation regulatory issues and decisional law as applied in United States and in Canada)