Review of Rail Access and Competition Issues-Renewed Petition of the Western Coal Traffic League, 6130-6131 [E6-1558]

Download as PDF 6130 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 24 / Monday, February 6, 2006 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [STB Finance Docket No. 34814] rmajette on PROD1PC67 with NOTICES1 Cassatt Management, LLC d/b/a Bay Coast Railroad-Lease and Operation Exemption—Canonie Atlantic Co. on Behalf of Accomack-Northampton Transportation District Commission Cassatt Management, LLC d/b/a/ Bay Coast Railroad (BCR), a noncarrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.31 to lease from Canonie Atlantic Co. (Canonie), acting on behalf of the AccomackNorthampton Transportation District Commission, and to operate approximately 68.3 miles of rail line as follows: (1) Between ESHR milepost 30.5 at Pocomoke City, MD (Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) interchange), and ESHR milepost 94.8 at Cape Charles, VA (float bridge); (2) between ESHR milepost 95.0 at Little Creek (Virginia Beach), VA, and ESHR milepost 97.6 at Camden Heights (Norfolk), VA; and (3) between ESHR milepost 100.7 at North Junction and ESHR milepost 102.1 at St. Julian, VA. As part of the transaction, BCR is being assigned to operate a 4.6-mile line of railroad leased by Canonie from NS extending (a) between ESHR milepost 97.6 at Camden Heights and ESHR milepost 100.7 at North Junction; and (b) on the Diamond Springs Line between NS milepost SN 5.2 and NS milepost SN 6.7. BCR also is being assigned to operate Canonie’s trackage rights over a 4.0-mile line of railroad owned by NS, extending between Coleman Place and NS’s Portlock Yard for interchange purposes. The Eastern Shore Railroad, Inc. currently operates these lines. BCR certifies that its projected annual revenues as a result of the transaction will not exceed those that would qualify it as a Class III rail carrier and will not exceed $5 million. The transaction was expected to be consummated on or after January 18, 2006. If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the transaction. An original and 10 copies of all pleadings, referring to STB Finance Docket No. 34814, must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423– 0001. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on John D. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:55 Feb 03, 2006 Jkt 208001 Heffner, John D. Heffner, PLLC, 1920 N Street, NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036. Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at https:// www.stb.dot.gov. Decided: January 27, 2006. By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings. Vernon A. Williams, Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–1487 Filed 2–3–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [STB Ex Parte No. 575] Review of Rail Access and Competition Issues—Renewed Petition of the Western Coal Traffic League AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board, DOT. ACTION: Request for comments. SUMMARY: The Surface Transportation Board is requesting comments on the renewed petition of the Western Coal Traffic League (WCTL) for a rulemaking to address agreements to sell or lease a rail line that restrict the ability of the purchaser or tenant to interchange traffic with competitors of the seller or landlord railroad. DATES: Opening comments may be filed by any interested member of the public by March 8, 2006. Reply comments may be filed by March 28, 2006. ADDRESSES: Any filing submitted in this proceeding must refer to STB Ex Parte No. 575 and may be submitted either via the Board’s e-filing format or in the traditional paper format. Any person using e-filing must comply with the instructions found on the Board’s https:// www.stb.dot.gov Web site, at the ‘‘EFILING’’ link. Any person submitting a filing in the traditional paper format must submit an original and 10 paper copies of the filing (and also an IBMcompatible floppy disk with any textual submission in any version of either Microsoft Word or WordPerfect) to: Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423– 0001. Because all comments will be posted to the Board’s Web site, persons filing them with the Board need not serve them on other participants but must furnish a hard copy on request to any participant. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph H. Dettmar, (202) 565–1609. [Federal Information Relay Service for the hearing impaired: 1–800–877–8339.] PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Since enactment of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, larger railroads have sold or leased many rail lines to small, newly created short line railroads. Some of the lease or sale agreements have had ‘‘paper barrier’’ provisions that limit the incentive or ability of the short line railroad to interchange traffic with connecting carriers that could compete with the lessor or vendor. Such paper barriers may result from credits for cars interchanged with the lessor or vendor, or they may involve a penalty for traffic interchanged with a competitor of the lessor or vendor, or a total ban on such interchange. Concerns about such paper barriers were raised in STB Ex Parte No. 575, Review of Rail Access and Competition Issues, an ongoing umbrella proceeding to examine various issues concerning competition between railroads.1 In response, on September 10, 1998, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) executed a broad ‘‘Railroad Industry Agreement’’ (‘‘RIA’’ or ‘‘agreement’’) that addressed paper barriers as well as various other issues.2 The provisions of the RIA specifically pertaining to paper barriers establish a few general principles,3 applicable only SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1 In STB Ex Parte No. 575, the Board initiated a broad review of several railroad access and competition issues. Review of Rail Access and Competition Issues, 3 S.T.B. 92 (1998). 2 The broader RIA was evaluated by the Board in STB Docket No. S5R 100. In that proceeding, the Board requested comments on, and granted interim approval for, the rate-related provisions of the broader agreement for which the parties requested approval. Assn. of American Railroads et al.— Agreement—49 U.S.C. 10706, 3 S.T.B. 673 (1998). The Board subsequently granted final approval of these rate-related provisions. Assn. of American Railroads et al.—Agreement—49 U.S.C. 10706, 3 S.T.B. 910 (1998). The Board made no findings as to the paper barrier and other non-rate provisions because approval for them was not sought. The original 1998 version of the RIA is included in Attachment 2 of the renewed petition of WCTL, filed on March 21, 2005, that is the subject of this notice. The agreement has been amended at least once: see the comments of the Rail Industry Working Group filed May 2, 2005. 3 See, e.g., the following provisions: Paper Barriers: Only legitimate paper barriers should be enforceable. Paper barriers are restrictions on interchange imposed by contract at the time of creation of the Short Line. Legitimate paper barriers are those that are designed as fair payment for the sale or rental value of the line that created the Short Line. Such barriers should not restrict the Short Line’s ability to develop New Traffic with another carrier if the selling or leasing Large Railroad can not or will not participate in the New Traffic. Excessive per car charges or other penalties imposed if a car is interchanged to another Large Railroad (other than legitimate paper barriers) are unreasonable and should not be permitted. 3. Paper Barriers and New Routes (applies to participating Class I and III Railroads) E:\FR\FM\06FEN1.SGM 06FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 24 / Monday, February 6, 2006 / Notices rmajette on PROD1PC67 with NOTICES1 to new traffic (traffic that did not exist when a line was spun off), and illustrate their application by presenting the outcome (access/no access) under hypothetical situations with diagrams illustrating the relationships between the parties. The paper barrier provisions do not grant enforcement rights to shippers. Rather, the RIA provides for non-binding arbitration under Board auspices and creates a Rail Industry Working Group (RIWG) that can issue interpretations and provide a forum for discussion. By petition filed on December 21, 1998, in STB Ex Parte No. 575, WCTL asked the Board to initiate a separate rulemaking to consider eliminating unreasonable paper barriers. WCTL argued that the agreement negotiated between AAR and ASLRRA did not adequately deal with the barriers. WCTL proposed rules that would restrict paper barriers. By decision served on March 2, 1999, the Board deferred action on WCTL’s petition in order to gain experience under the AAR/ASLRRA agreement with respect to paper barriers. By petition filed on March 21, 2005, WCTL renewed its 1998 request for rulemaking on the paper barrier issue. WCTL asserts that, since 1999, there have been significant changes in the Board’s policies regarding competition, citing in particular the Board’s revised merger guidelines for Class I railroads.4 WCTL argues that, given the benefit of experience, unreasonable paper barriers should be subject to challenge by shippers as well as short lines and that any restrictions on these provisions should cover pre-existing traffic as well as new traffic. WCTL proposes specific rules that would establish a rebuttable presumption that a paper barrier is unreasonable and contrary to the public interest if the paper barrier (1) lasts longer than 5 years, (2) includes any financial penalty for interchanging traffic with another carrier, or (3) includes a credit for interchanging traffic with the seller or landlord railroad against a rental or sale price that reflects a return on the ‘‘fair market value’’ of the properties sold or leased that is greater than the railroad industry’s cost of capital. Replies in support of WCTL’s petition were filed on April 29, 2005, by Entergy (a) General Premise: If the requested Access or routing helps the connecting Short Line and does not harm the Large railroad, then the request should be approved as it will improve shipper rail service while strengthening the rail industry. 4 See Major Rail Consolidation Procedures, 5 S.T.B. 539 (2001). WCTL argues that these procedures require that the Board be proactive in taking steps to promote competition. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:55 Feb 03, 2006 Jkt 208001 Services, Inc. (Entergy); and on May 2, 2005, by Albany & Eastern Railroad Company (AERC) and jointly by Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and Entergy Arkansas, Inc. (Arkansas Electric/Entergy). Replies in opposition to WCTL’s petition were filed on May 2, 2005, by: ASLRRA; AAR; and RIWG. On May 5, 2005, the Union Pacific Railroad Company filed a statement rebutting statements in the replies of Arkansas Electric/Entergy and Entergy, to which Entergy responded on May 17, 2005. BNSF Railway Company responded to the AERC filing on May 20, 2005. We are especially interested in comments that: (a) Discuss our statutory authority to address pre-existing paper barriers; (b) identify and describe existing paper barriers so that we can determine the extent of the problem alleged by WCTL; (c) identify and quantify any problems experienced by shippers as a result of paper barriers; (d) address the short and long term economic impacts of paper barriers; (e) address the effectiveness of the existing AAR/ASLRRA agreement on paper barriers; and (f) include information about the RIA, including the most recent version, amendment history, interpretations, proceedings, handbooks, etc. Board filings, decisions, and notices are available on its Web site at https:// www.stb.dot.gov. This action will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources. Decided: January 30, 2006. By the Board, Chairman Buttrey and Vice Chairman Mulvey. Vernon A. Williams, Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–1558 Filed 2–3–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; Proposed Renewal Without Change; Comment Request; AntiMoney Laundering Programs for Various Financial Institutions. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Department of the Treasury. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite comment on a proposed renewal, without change, to information collections found in PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6131 existing regulations requiring money services businesses, mutual funds, operators of credit card systems, dealers in precious metals, stones, or jewels, and certain insurance companies to develop and implement written antimoney laundering programs reasonably designed to prevent those financial institutions from being used to facilitate money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities. Comment also is invited on an existing proposed regulation that would require unregistered investment companies to establish and maintain written antimoney laundering programs and to file a notice with us identifying themselves and providing related basic information. This request for comments is being made pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104– 13, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). DATES: Written comments are welcome and must be received on or before April 7, 2006. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183, Attention: AntiMoney Laundering Program Comments. Comments also may be submitted by electronic mail to the following Internet address: regcomments@fincen.gov, again with a caption, in the body of the text, ‘‘Attention: Anti-Money Laundering Program Comments.’’ Inspection of comments. Comments may be inspected, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., in our reading room in Washington, DC. Persons wishing to inspect the comments submitted must request an appointment by telephoning (202) 354–6400 (not a toll free number). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Regulatory Policy and Programs Division at (800) 949–2732. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Abstract: The Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is the delegated administrator of the Bank Secrecy Act. The Act authorizes the Director to issue regulations to require all financial institutions defined as such in the Act to maintain or file certain reports or records that have been determined to have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, or regulatory investigations or proceedings, or in the conduct of intelligence or counterintelligence activities, including analysis, to protect against international terrorism, and to implement anti-money laundering programs and compliance procedures.1 1 Public Law 91–508, as amended and codified at 12 U.S.C. 1829b, 12 U.S.C. 1951–1959 and 31 U.S.C. E:\FR\FM\06FEN1.SGM Continued 06FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 24 (Monday, February 6, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6130-6131]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-1558]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board

[STB Ex Parte No. 575]


Review of Rail Access and Competition Issues--Renewed Petition of 
the Western Coal Traffic League

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board, DOT.

ACTION: Request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Surface Transportation Board is requesting comments on the 
renewed petition of the Western Coal Traffic League (WCTL) for a 
rulemaking to address agreements to sell or lease a rail line that 
restrict the ability of the purchaser or tenant to interchange traffic 
with competitors of the seller or landlord railroad.

DATES: Opening comments may be filed by any interested member of the 
public by March 8, 2006. Reply comments may be filed by March 28, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Any filing submitted in this proceeding must refer to STB Ex 
Parte No. 575 and may be submitted either via the Board's e-filing 
format or in the traditional paper format. Any person using e-filing 
must comply with the instructions found on the Board's https://
www.stb.dot.gov Web site, at the ``E-FILING'' link. Any person 
submitting a filing in the traditional paper format must submit an 
original and 10 paper copies of the filing (and also an IBM-compatible 
floppy disk with any textual submission in any version of either 
Microsoft Word or WordPerfect) to: Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K 
Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. Because all comments will be 
posted to the Board's Web site, persons filing them with the Board need 
not serve them on other participants but must furnish a hard copy on 
request to any participant.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph H. Dettmar, (202) 565-1609. 
[Federal Information Relay Service for the hearing impaired: 1-800-877-
8339.]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Since enactment of the Staggers Rail Act of 
1980, larger railroads have sold or leased many rail lines to small, 
newly created short line railroads. Some of the lease or sale 
agreements have had ``paper barrier'' provisions that limit the 
incentive or ability of the short line railroad to interchange traffic 
with connecting carriers that could compete with the lessor or vendor. 
Such paper barriers may result from credits for cars interchanged with 
the lessor or vendor, or they may involve a penalty for traffic 
interchanged with a competitor of the lessor or vendor, or a total ban 
on such interchange.
    Concerns about such paper barriers were raised in STB Ex Parte No. 
575, Review of Rail Access and Competition Issues, an ongoing umbrella 
proceeding to examine various issues concerning competition between 
railroads.\1\ In response, on September 10, 1998, the Association of 
American Railroads (AAR) and the American Short Line and Regional 
Railroad Association (ASLRRA) executed a broad ``Railroad Industry 
Agreement'' (``RIA'' or ``agreement'') that addressed paper barriers as 
well as various other issues.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In STB Ex Parte No. 575, the Board initiated a broad review 
of several railroad access and competition issues. Review of Rail 
Access and Competition Issues, 3 S.T.B. 92 (1998).
    \2\ The broader RIA was evaluated by the Board in STB Docket No. 
S5R 100. In that proceeding, the Board requested comments on, and 
granted interim approval for, the rate-related provisions of the 
broader agreement for which the parties requested approval. Assn. of 
American Railroads et al.--Agreement--49 U.S.C. 10706, 3 S.T.B. 673 
(1998). The Board subsequently granted final approval of these rate-
related provisions. Assn. of American Railroads et al.--Agreement--
49 U.S.C. 10706, 3 S.T.B. 910 (1998). The Board made no findings as 
to the paper barrier and other non-rate provisions because approval 
for them was not sought. The original 1998 version of the RIA is 
included in Attachment 2 of the renewed petition of WCTL, filed on 
March 21, 2005, that is the subject of this notice. The agreement 
has been amended at least once: see the comments of the Rail 
Industry Working Group filed May 2, 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The provisions of the RIA specifically pertaining to paper barriers 
establish a few general principles,\3\ applicable only

[[Page 6131]]

to new traffic (traffic that did not exist when a line was spun off), 
and illustrate their application by presenting the outcome (access/no 
access) under hypothetical situations with diagrams illustrating the 
relationships between the parties. The paper barrier provisions do not 
grant enforcement rights to shippers. Rather, the RIA provides for non-
binding arbitration under Board auspices and creates a Rail Industry 
Working Group (RIWG) that can issue interpretations and provide a forum 
for discussion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ See, e.g., the following provisions:
    Paper Barriers:
    Only legitimate paper barriers should be enforceable. Paper 
barriers are restrictions on interchange imposed by contract at the 
time of creation of the Short Line. Legitimate paper barriers are 
those that are designed as fair payment for the sale or rental value 
of the line that created the Short Line. Such barriers should not 
restrict the Short Line's ability to develop New Traffic with 
another carrier if the selling or leasing Large Railroad can not or 
will not participate in the New Traffic. Excessive per car charges 
or other penalties imposed if a car is interchanged to another Large 
Railroad (other than legitimate paper barriers) are unreasonable and 
should not be permitted.
    3. Paper Barriers and New Routes (applies to participating Class 
I and III Railroads)
    (a) General Premise: If the requested Access or routing helps 
the connecting Short Line and does not harm the Large railroad, then 
the request should be approved as it will improve shipper rail 
service while strengthening the rail industry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    By petition filed on December 21, 1998, in STB Ex Parte No. 575, 
WCTL asked the Board to initiate a separate rulemaking to consider 
eliminating unreasonable paper barriers. WCTL argued that the agreement 
negotiated between AAR and ASLRRA did not adequately deal with the 
barriers. WCTL proposed rules that would restrict paper barriers. By 
decision served on March 2, 1999, the Board deferred action on WCTL's 
petition in order to gain experience under the AAR/ASLRRA agreement 
with respect to paper barriers.
    By petition filed on March 21, 2005, WCTL renewed its 1998 request 
for rulemaking on the paper barrier issue. WCTL asserts that, since 
1999, there have been significant changes in the Board's policies 
regarding competition, citing in particular the Board's revised merger 
guidelines for Class I railroads.\4\ WCTL argues that, given the 
benefit of experience, unreasonable paper barriers should be subject to 
challenge by shippers as well as short lines and that any restrictions 
on these provisions should cover pre-existing traffic as well as new 
traffic. WCTL proposes specific rules that would establish a rebuttable 
presumption that a paper barrier is unreasonable and contrary to the 
public interest if the paper barrier (1) lasts longer than 5 years, (2) 
includes any financial penalty for interchanging traffic with another 
carrier, or (3) includes a credit for interchanging traffic with the 
seller or landlord railroad against a rental or sale price that 
reflects a return on the ``fair market value'' of the properties sold 
or leased that is greater than the railroad industry's cost of capital.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See Major Rail Consolidation Procedures, 5 S.T.B. 539 
(2001). WCTL argues that these procedures require that the Board be 
proactive in taking steps to promote competition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Replies in support of WCTL's petition were filed on April 29, 2005, 
by Entergy Services, Inc. (Entergy); and on May 2, 2005, by Albany & 
Eastern Railroad Company (AERC) and jointly by Arkansas Electric 
Cooperative Corporation and Entergy Arkansas, Inc. (Arkansas Electric/
Entergy).
    Replies in opposition to WCTL's petition were filed on May 2, 2005, 
by: ASLRRA; AAR; and RIWG. On May 5, 2005, the Union Pacific Railroad 
Company filed a statement rebutting statements in the replies of 
Arkansas Electric/Entergy and Entergy, to which Entergy responded on 
May 17, 2005. BNSF Railway Company responded to the AERC filing on May 
20, 2005.
    We are especially interested in comments that: (a) Discuss our 
statutory authority to address pre-existing paper barriers; (b) 
identify and describe existing paper barriers so that we can determine 
the extent of the problem alleged by WCTL; (c) identify and quantify 
any problems experienced by shippers as a result of paper barriers; (d) 
address the short and long term economic impacts of paper barriers; (e) 
address the effectiveness of the existing AAR/ASLRRA agreement on paper 
barriers; and (f) include information about the RIA, including the most 
recent version, amendment history, interpretations, proceedings, 
handbooks, etc.
    Board filings, decisions, and notices are available on its Web site 
at https://www.stb.dot.gov.
    This action will not significantly affect either the quality of the 
human environment or the conservation of energy resources.

    Decided: January 30, 2006.

    By the Board, Chairman Buttrey and Vice Chairman Mulvey.
Vernon A. Williams,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. E6-1558 Filed 2-3-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P