The STB has a process called a "Petition for a Declaratory Order". That process requires the Town to file an application along with a legal brief and written evidence outlining the Town's case as to why the railroad is not preempted, and a filing fee of $1,400. Depending on the situation the legal brief can be quite lengthy.
The Town has been advised that in order to be successful in such an endeavor we will need to have a legal theory and facts that support a decision that preemption does not apply, contrary to the earlier legal opinion received by the Town, and to retain Counsel in Washington that is skilled in this area of law. Most cases take at least six months to be resolved before an order is decided, and the legal expenses could easily exceed $50,000. If the Town were successful in obtaining a decision to the effect that the railroad's activities at the yard were subject to local regulation, the Town could require the railroad to apply for various permits relating to the construction or operation of the yard.