Information Collection Activities: Statutory Authority To Preserve Rail Service (49 U.S.C. 10904-05 and 10907, and 16 U.S.C. 1247(d)), 53917-53918 [2015-22522]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 173 / Tuesday, September 8, 2015 / Notices extension of an existing collection of information. Dated: September 2, 2015. Jeffrey Herzig, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2015–22521 Filed 9–4–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board Information Collection Activities: Statutory Authority To Preserve Rail Service (49 U.S.C. 10904–05 and 10907, and 16 U.S.C. 1247(d)) AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board, DOT. 30-day notice and request for comments. ACTION: As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3519 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (Board) gives notice that it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of an extension of the information collection—Statutory Authority to Preserve Rail Service— further described below. The Board previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register. 80 FR 38509 (July 6, 2015). That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. Under these statutory provisions, the Board administers programs designed to preserve railroad service or rail rightsof-way. When a line is proposed for abandonment, affected shippers, communities, or other interested persons may seek to preserve rail service by filing with the Board: an offer of financial assistance (OFA) to subsidize or purchase a rail line for which a railroad is seeking abandonment (49 U.S.C. 10904), including a request for the Board to set terms and conditions of the financial assistance; a request for a public use condition (§ 10905); or a trail-use request (16 U.S.C. 1247(d)). Similarly, when a line is placed on a system diagram map identifying it as an anticipated or potential candidate for abandonment, affected shippers, communities, or other interested persons may seek to preserve rail service by filing with the Board a feeder line application to purchase the identified rail line (§ 10907). When a line is so placed on the map, the feeder line applicant need not demonstrate that the public convenience and necessity asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:04 Sep 04, 2015 Jkt 235001 require or permit the sale of the line, but need only pay the constitutional minimum value to acquire it. Additionally, the railroad owning the rail line subject to abandonment must, in some circumstances, provide information to the applicant or offeror. The relevant information collections are described in more detail below. Comments are requested concerning: (1) The accuracy of the Board’s burden estimates; (2) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (3) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology when appropriate; and (4) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility. 53917 (sum total of estimated hours per response × number of responses for each type of filing). TABLE—ESTIMATED HOURS PER RESPONSE Type of filing Offer of Financial Assistance ... OFA—Railroad Reply to Request for Information ............. OFA—Request to Set Terms and Conditions ...................... Request for Public Use Condition ........................................ Feeder Line Application ............ Trail-Use Request ..................... Trail-Use Request Extension .... Number of hours per response 32 10 2 40 2 70 4 4 Total ‘‘Non-hour Burden’’ Cost: None identified. Filings are submitted electronically to the Board. Needs and Uses: Under the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended by the ICC Termination Act of 1995, Public Law Description of Collections 104–88, 109 Stat. 803 (1995), and Title: Statutory Authority to Preserve Section 8(d) of the National Trails Rail Service. System Act, 16 U.S.C. 1247(d) (Trails OMB Control Number: 2140–0022. Act), persons seeking to preserve rail STB Form Number: None. service may file pleadings before the Type of Review: Extension without Board to acquire or subsidize a rail line change. for continued service, or to impose a Respondents: Affected shippers, trail use or public use condition. Under communities, or other interested 49 U.S.C. 10904, the filing of an OFA persons seeking to preserve rail service starts a process of negotiations to define over rail lines that are proposed or the financial assistance needed to identified for abandonment, and purchase or subsidize the rail line railroads that are required to provide sought for abandonment. Once the OFA information to the offeror or applicant. is filed, the offeror may request Number of Respondents: 40 (including informational filings required additional information from the railroad, which the railroad must of railroads). provide. If the parties cannot agree to Frequency: On occasion. the sale or subsidy, either party also may file a request for the Board to set TABLE—NUMBER OF YEARLY the terms and conditions of the financial RESPONSES assistance. Under § 10905, a public use request allows the Board to impose a Number of Type of filing 180-day public use condition on the filings abandonment of a rail line, permitting Offer of Financial Assistance ... 1 the parties to negotiate a public use for OFA—Railroad Reply to Rethe rail line. Under § 10907, a feeder quest for Information ............. 2 line application provides the basis for OFA—Request to Set Terms authorizing an involuntary sale of a rail and Conditions ...................... 1 line. Finally, under 16 U.S.C. 1247(d), a Request for Public Use Condition ........................................ 1 trail-use request, if agreed upon by the Feeder Line Application ............ 1 abandoning carrier, requires the Board Trail-Use Request ..................... 27 to condition the abandonment by 1 24 Trail-Use Request Extension .... issuing a Notice of Interim Trail Use (NITU) or Certificate of Interim Trail Total Burden Hours (annually Use (CITU), permitting the parties to including all respondents): 368 hours 1 In the 60-day notice for this collection, the Board estimated that the number of Trail-Use Request Extensions would be 94, but, upon further review, staff has revised the number to 24 because staff believes that number more accurately reflects the annual number of this type of filing. PO 00000 Frm 00159 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2 In the 60-day notice, the Board used four hours for the estimated hours for filing of an ‘‘OFARequest to Set Terms and Conditions,’’ but, upon review, staff updated this amount to more accurately reflect the hourly burden for this filing, estimating it to be 40 hours rather than four. Therefore, this notice updates those burden hours. E:\FR\FM\08SEN1.SGM 08SEN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 53918 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 173 / Tuesday, September 8, 2015 / Notices negotiate an interim trail use/rail banking agreement for the rail line. The collection by the Board of these offers, requests, and applications, and the railroad’s replies (when required), enables the Board to meet its statutory duty to regulate the referenced rail transactions. Retention Period: Information in these collections is maintained by the Board for ten years, after which it is transferred to the National Archives as permanent records. DATES: Comments on this information collection should be submitted by October 8, 2015. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be identified as ‘‘Paperwork Reduction Act Comments, Surface Transportation Board, Statutory Authority to Preserve Rail Service.’’ These comments should be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Chandana L. Achanta, Surface Transportation Board Desk Officer, by email at OIRA_ SUBMISSION@OMB.EOP.GOV; by fax at (202) 395–6974; or by mail to Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information regarding the Statutory Authority to Preserve Rail Service, contact Chris Oehrle, Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423–0001, or email PRA@stb.dot.gov. [Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) for the hearing impaired: (800) 877–8339.] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Respondents seeking authority from the Board to preserve rail lines must submit certain information required under the Board’s related regulations and, in some circumstances, railroads seeking to abandon a line must disclose certain information to the offeror or applicant. Offer of Financial Assistance. When a rail line would otherwise be approved for abandonment (or discontinuance), any financially responsible person may seek to acquire the line for continued rail service (after abandonment has been approved), or may seek to temporarily subsidize continued operations by the incumbent railroad (after abandonment or discontinuance has been approved), by filing an OFA under 49 U.S.C. 10904 and 49 CFR 1152.27. An OFA may be submitted to the Board as soon as the railroad seeks abandonment (or discontinuance) authority. Once an OFA is submitted, the abandoning railroad must, upon request, promptly provide to any party considering an OFA and to the Board an estimate of the annual subsidy or minimum purchase price; a report on the physical condition of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Sep 04, 2015 Jkt 235001 line; and data on traffic, revenues, net liquidation value, and the cost to rehabilitate to class I (minimum) track standards. If the parties are not able to agree upon the purchase price or subsidy, then, to move forward, either party may ask the Board to set the price or subsidy, which will be binding upon the parties if the offeror chooses to accept the terms set by the Board and proceed with the purchase. Public Use Request. Any person may request that the Board prohibit an abandoning railroad from disposing of the right-of-way—for up to 180 days— without first offering the right-of-way (on reasonable terms) for other suitable public purposes (such as mass transit, pipeline, transmission lines, recreation, etc.). Such requests are governed by 49 U.S.C. 10905 and 49 CFR 1152.28. Feeder Line Application. When a line has been identified on a railroad’s system diagram map as a potential candidate for abandonment (or discontinuance), but before abandonment (or discontinuance) authority has been sought, any financially responsible person (other than a Class I or II railroad) may, by filing a feeder line application under 49 U.S.C. 10907 and 49 CFR 1151, seek to acquire the line for continued rail service under the forced sale provisions of the feeder railroad development program. Trail-Use Request. The Trails Act provides a mechanism whereby any interested person may seek to ‘‘rail bank’’ a rail right-of-way that has been approved for abandonment and use the property in the interim as a recreational trail. The Board has a ministerial role in this process; under 49 CFR 1152.29, interested persons may submit a request to the Board for a trail-use condition, and if the statutory conditions are met, the Board must authorize the parties to negotiate a trail-use agreement by issuing a CITU, or, in an exemption proceeding, a NITU. The CITU or NITU typically permit negotiations for 180 days, but the negotiations can be extended upon request to the Board. Under the Trails Act, trail-use agreements are consensual, not forced. The abandoning railroad is free to choose whether or not to enter into or continue negotiations to transfer (all or part of) the right-of-way to a trail sponsor. Under the PRA, a federal agency conducting or sponsoring a collection of information must display a currently valid OMB control number. A collection of information, which is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c), includes agency requirements or requests that persons submit reports, PO 00000 Frm 00160 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 keep records, or provide information to the agency, third parties, or the public. Section 3507(b) of the PRA requires, concurrent with an agency’s submitting a collection to OMB for approval, a 30day notice and comment period through publication in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information. Dated: September 2, 2015. Jeffrey Herzig, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2015–22522 Filed 9–4–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint Committee Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: An open meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint Committee will be conducted. The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is soliciting public comments, ideas, and suggestions on improving customer service at the Internal Revenue Service. DATES: The meeting will be held Wednesday, October 28, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Billups at 1–888–912–1227 or (214) 413–6523. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. (1988) that an open meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint Committee will be held Wednesday, October 28, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time via teleconference. The public is invited to make oral comments or submit written statements for consideration. For more information please contact Lisa Billups at 1–888–912–1227 or 214–413–6523, or write TAP Office 1114 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75242–1021, or post comments to the Web site: http:// www.improveirs.org. The agenda will include various committee issues for submission to the IRS and other TAP related topics. Public input is welcomed. SUMMARY: Dated: September 1, 2015. Sheila Andrews, Director, Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. [FR Doc. 2015–22580 Filed 9–4–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830–01–P E:\FR\FM\08SEN1.SGM 08SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 173 (Tuesday, September 8, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53917-53918]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-22522]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board


Information Collection Activities: Statutory Authority To 
Preserve Rail Service (49 U.S.C. 10904-05 and 10907, and 16 U.S.C. 
1247(d))

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board, DOT.

ACTION: 30-day notice and request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, 
and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-
3519 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (Board) gives notice that 
it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
approval of an extension of the information collection--Statutory 
Authority to Preserve Rail Service--further described below. The Board 
previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal 
Register. 80 FR 38509 (July 6, 2015). That notice allowed for a 60-day 
public review and comment period. No comments were received.
    Under these statutory provisions, the Board administers programs 
designed to preserve railroad service or rail rights-of-way. When a 
line is proposed for abandonment, affected shippers, communities, or 
other interested persons may seek to preserve rail service by filing 
with the Board: an offer of financial assistance (OFA) to subsidize or 
purchase a rail line for which a railroad is seeking abandonment (49 
U.S.C. 10904), including a request for the Board to set terms and 
conditions of the financial assistance; a request for a public use 
condition (Sec.  10905); or a trail-use request (16 U.S.C. 1247(d)). 
Similarly, when a line is placed on a system diagram map identifying it 
as an anticipated or potential candidate for abandonment, affected 
shippers, communities, or other interested persons may seek to preserve 
rail service by filing with the Board a feeder line application to 
purchase the identified rail line (Sec.  10907). When a line is so 
placed on the map, the feeder line applicant need not demonstrate that 
the public convenience and necessity require or permit the sale of the 
line, but need only pay the constitutional minimum value to acquire it. 
Additionally, the railroad owning the rail line subject to abandonment 
must, in some circumstances, provide information to the applicant or 
offeror. The relevant information collections are described in more 
detail below.
    Comments are requested concerning: (1) The accuracy of the Board's 
burden estimates; (2) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity 
of the information collected; (3) ways to minimize the burden of the 
collection of information on the respondents, including the use of 
automated collection techniques or other forms of information 
technology when appropriate; and (4) whether the collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility.

Description of Collections

    Title: Statutory Authority to Preserve Rail Service.
    OMB Control Number: 2140-0022.
    STB Form Number: None.
    Type of Review: Extension without change.
    Respondents: Affected shippers, communities, or other interested 
persons seeking to preserve rail service over rail lines that are 
proposed or identified for abandonment, and railroads that are required 
to provide information to the offeror or applicant.
    Number of Respondents: 40 (including informational filings required 
of railroads).
    Frequency: On occasion.

                    Table--Number of Yearly Responses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Number of
                       Type of filing                          filings
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Offer of Financial Assistance..............................            1
OFA--Railroad Reply to Request for Information.............            2
OFA--Request to Set Terms and Conditions...................            1
Request for Public Use Condition...........................            1
Feeder Line Application....................................            1
Trail-Use Request..........................................           27
Trail-Use Request Extension................................       \1\ 24
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Total Burden Hours (annually including all respondents): 368 hours 
(sum total of estimated hours per response x number of responses for 
each type of filing).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In the 60-day notice for this collection, the Board 
estimated that the number of Trail-Use Request Extensions would be 
94, but, upon further review, staff has revised the number to 24 
because staff believes that number more accurately reflects the 
annual number of this type of filing.

                   Table--Estimated Hours per Response
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Number of
                       Type of filing                         hours per
                                                               response
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Offer of Financial Assistance..............................           32
OFA--Railroad Reply to Request for Information.............           10
OFA--Request to Set Terms and Conditions...................       \2\ 40
Request for Public Use Condition...........................            2
Feeder Line Application....................................           70
Trail-Use Request..........................................            4
Trail-Use Request Extension................................            4
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Total ``Non-hour Burden'' Cost: None identified. Filings are 
submitted electronically to the Board.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ In the 60-day notice, the Board used four hours for the 
estimated hours for filing of an ``OFA-Request to Set Terms and 
Conditions,'' but, upon review, staff updated this amount to more 
accurately reflect the hourly burden for this filing, estimating it 
to be 40 hours rather than four. Therefore, this notice updates 
those burden hours.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Needs and Uses: Under the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended by 
the ICC Termination Act of 1995, Public Law 104-88, 109 Stat. 803 
(1995), and Section 8(d) of the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. 
1247(d) (Trails Act), persons seeking to preserve rail service may file 
pleadings before the Board to acquire or subsidize a rail line for 
continued service, or to impose a trail use or public use condition. 
Under 49 U.S.C. 10904, the filing of an OFA starts a process of 
negotiations to define the financial assistance needed to purchase or 
subsidize the rail line sought for abandonment. Once the OFA is filed, 
the offeror may request additional information from the railroad, which 
the railroad must provide. If the parties cannot agree to the sale or 
subsidy, either party also may file a request for the Board to set the 
terms and conditions of the financial assistance. Under Sec.  10905, a 
public use request allows the Board to impose a 180-day public use 
condition on the abandonment of a rail line, permitting the parties to 
negotiate a public use for the rail line. Under Sec.  10907, a feeder 
line application provides the basis for authorizing an involuntary sale 
of a rail line. Finally, under 16 U.S.C. 1247(d), a trail-use request, 
if agreed upon by the abandoning carrier, requires the Board to 
condition the abandonment by issuing a Notice of Interim Trail Use 
(NITU) or Certificate of Interim Trail Use (CITU), permitting the 
parties to

[[Page 53918]]

negotiate an interim trail use/rail banking agreement for the rail 
line.
    The collection by the Board of these offers, requests, and 
applications, and the railroad's replies (when required), enables the 
Board to meet its statutory duty to regulate the referenced rail 
transactions.
    Retention Period: Information in these collections is maintained by 
the Board for ten years, after which it is transferred to the National 
Archives as permanent records.

DATES: Comments on this information collection should be submitted by 
October 8, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be identified as ``Paperwork 
Reduction Act Comments, Surface Transportation Board, Statutory 
Authority to Preserve Rail Service.'' These comments should be directed 
to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Chandana L. Achanta, Surface 
Transportation Board Desk Officer, by email at 
OIRA_SUBMISSION@OMB.EOP.GOV; by fax at (202) 395-6974; or by mail to 
Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information regarding the 
Statutory Authority to Preserve Rail Service, contact Chris Oehrle, 
Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-
0001, or email PRA@stb.dot.gov. [Federal Information Relay Service 
(FIRS) for the hearing impaired: (800) 877-8339.]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Respondents seeking authority from the Board 
to preserve rail lines must submit certain information required under 
the Board's related regulations and, in some circumstances, railroads 
seeking to abandon a line must disclose certain information to the 
offeror or applicant.
    Offer of Financial Assistance. When a rail line would otherwise be 
approved for abandonment (or discontinuance), any financially 
responsible person may seek to acquire the line for continued rail 
service (after abandonment has been approved), or may seek to 
temporarily subsidize continued operations by the incumbent railroad 
(after abandonment or discontinuance has been approved), by filing an 
OFA under 49 U.S.C. 10904 and 49 CFR 1152.27. An OFA may be submitted 
to the Board as soon as the railroad seeks abandonment (or 
discontinuance) authority. Once an OFA is submitted, the abandoning 
railroad must, upon request, promptly provide to any party considering 
an OFA and to the Board an estimate of the annual subsidy or minimum 
purchase price; a report on the physical condition of the line; and 
data on traffic, revenues, net liquidation value, and the cost to 
rehabilitate to class I (minimum) track standards. If the parties are 
not able to agree upon the purchase price or subsidy, then, to move 
forward, either party may ask the Board to set the price or subsidy, 
which will be binding upon the parties if the offeror chooses to accept 
the terms set by the Board and proceed with the purchase.
    Public Use Request. Any person may request that the Board prohibit 
an abandoning railroad from disposing of the right-of-way--for up to 
180 days--without first offering the right-of-way (on reasonable terms) 
for other suitable public purposes (such as mass transit, pipeline, 
transmission lines, recreation, etc.). Such requests are governed by 49 
U.S.C. 10905 and 49 CFR 1152.28.
    Feeder Line Application. When a line has been identified on a 
railroad's system diagram map as a potential candidate for abandonment 
(or discontinuance), but before abandonment (or discontinuance) 
authority has been sought, any financially responsible person (other 
than a Class I or II railroad) may, by filing a feeder line application 
under 49 U.S.C. 10907 and 49 CFR 1151, seek to acquire the line for 
continued rail service under the forced sale provisions of the feeder 
railroad development program.
    Trail-Use Request. The Trails Act provides a mechanism whereby any 
interested person may seek to ``rail bank'' a rail right-of-way that 
has been approved for abandonment and use the property in the interim 
as a recreational trail. The Board has a ministerial role in this 
process; under 49 CFR 1152.29, interested persons may submit a request 
to the Board for a trail-use condition, and if the statutory conditions 
are met, the Board must authorize the parties to negotiate a trail-use 
agreement by issuing a CITU, or, in an exemption proceeding, a NITU. 
The CITU or NITU typically permit negotiations for 180 days, but the 
negotiations can be extended upon request to the Board. Under the 
Trails Act, trail-use agreements are consensual, not forced. The 
abandoning railroad is free to choose whether or not to enter into or 
continue negotiations to transfer (all or part of) the right-of-way to 
a trail sponsor.
    Under the PRA, a federal agency conducting or sponsoring a 
collection of information must display a currently valid OMB control 
number. A collection of information, which is defined in 44 U.S.C. 
3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c), includes agency requirements or requests 
that persons submit reports, keep records, or provide information to 
the agency, third parties, or the public. Section 3507(b) of the PRA 
requires, concurrent with an agency's submitting a collection to OMB 
for approval, a 30-day notice and comment period through publication in 
the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of 
information, including each proposed extension of an existing 
collection of information.

    Dated: September 2, 2015.
Jeffrey Herzig,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2015-22522 Filed 9-4-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P