Notice and Request for Comments
The Surface Transportation Board (Board), 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 et seq. (PRA), gives notice that the Board will seek from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an extension of approval for the two currently approved collections described below. The Board is seeking comments regarding one or both of these collections concerning (1) Whether the collection is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) 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. Submitted
Notice of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee Meeting
Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC), pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C., App. 2).
By a decision served on November 3, 2009, the Board announced that it will hold oral arguments in two cases: STB Finance Docket No. 35225, San Benito Railroad LLC-Acquisition Exemption-Certain Assets of Union Pacific Railroad Company (San Benito RR); and STB Docket No. 42114, US Magnesium, L.L.C. v. Union Pacific Railroad Company (USM v. UP).
City of Davenport, IA-Construction and Operation Exemption-in Scott County, IA
This document contains a change to the title of the Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment served and published in the Federal Register on Monday, October 26, 2009 (74 FR 55085) by the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis. That notice, published in this docket, was titled ``Eastern Iowa Industrial Center Rail Project Construction and Operation ExemptionCity of Davenport, Iowa.'' The title should read, ``City of Davenport, IAConstruction and Operation Exemptionin Scott County, IA.''
Railroad Revenue Adequacy-2008 Determination
On October 26, 2009, the Board served a decision announcing the 2008 revenue adequacy determinations for the Nation's Class I railroads. One carrier, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, is found to be revenue adequate.
Eastern Iowa Industrial Center Rail Project-Construction and Operation Exemption-City of Davenport, IA
In accordance with Surface Transportation Board (Board) procedures for complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and consistent with the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing NEPA at 40 CFR 1506.3, the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) is preliminarily recommending that the Board adopt an Environmental Assessment (EA) issued by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the City of Davenport. This EA is titled ``Eastern Iowa Industrial Center Railroad Extension in Davenport, Eldridge, and Scott County, Iowa.''
Francis W. Sherman-Control-Evergreen Trails, Inc., Horizon Coach Lines, Ltd., and Cabana Coaches, LLC
Francis W. Sherman (FWS), a noncarrier, has filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 to acquire indirect control (through stock purchase) of Evergreen Trails, Inc. (Evergreen), and Horizon Coach Lines, Ltd. (Horizon), and to continue in control of Cabana Coaches, LLC (Cabana). Persons wishing to oppose the application must follow the rules at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8. The Board has tentatively approved the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action.
Mr. Zev Marmurstein-Continuance in Control-R.W. Express, LLC
On September 16, 2009, Mr. Zev Marmurstein (Applicant), a noncarrier, filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 to acquire control of R.W. Express, LLC (RW Express), a motor passenger carrier (MC-474958). Applicant is also seeking control, through an intermediate entity known as City Sights Twin, LLC (City Sights Twin), of Twin America, LLC (Twin America) once that carrier obtains motor carrier authority,\1\ in Stagecoach Group PLC and Coach USA, Inc., et al.Acquisition of ControlTwin America, LLC, STB Docket No. MC-F-21035 (STB served Sept. 18, 2009).\2\ Persons wishing to oppose this application must follow the rules at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8. The Board has tentatively approved the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action.
Removal of Delegations of Authority to Secretary
The Surface Transportation Board (Board or STB) amends its regulations by eliminating the Secretary of the Board, reassigning the delegations of authority from the Secretary to other Offices of the Board, and making additional updates to eliminate incorrect or obsolete references. Because these administrative final rules amend internal agency practice and procedure, this action is exempt from the usual requirement for notice and an opportunity for public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A) of the Administrative Procedure Act.
The Surface Transportation Board will hold oral argument on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., at its offices in Washington, DC, regarding two cases, STB Docket No. 42104, Entergy Arkansas, Inc. and Entergy Services, Inc. v. Union Pacific Railroad Company and Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad Company, Inc., and STB Finance Docket No. 34914, DesertXpress Enterprises, LLCPetition for Declaratory Order.
TTX Company, et al.
In its decision in this proceeding served on August 31, 2004 (August 2004 decision), the Surface Transportation Board provided for the monitoring of TTX Company (TTX) and the preparation of a monitoring report at the end of year 5 of the 10-year term authorized by the Board for TTX's pooling agreement. To facilitate preparation of the report and preparation of comments by interested parties, the Board is directing TTX and its members to provide certain operational information and then is seeking comments from interested parties on whether any of TTX's activities require any action or particular oversight by the Board at this time.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the fourth quarter 2009 rail cost adjustment factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The fourth quarter 2009 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 0.996. The fourth quarter 2009 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.450. The fourth quarter 2009 RCAF-5 is 0.427.
Annual Submission of Tax Information for Use in the Revenue Shortfall Allocation Method
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) proposes that the Association of American Railroads (AAR) annually update each Class I railroad's weighted average State tax rate for use in the Revenue Shortfall Allocation Method (RSAM), which is one of three benchmarks that together are used to determine the reasonableness of a challenged rate under the Board's Simplified Standards for Rail Rate Cases, STB Docket No. 646 (Sub-No. 1) (STB served Sept. 5, 2007) (Simplified Standards). Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 11145, the Board proposes that AAR calculate the weighted average State tax rate using the number of miles operated by each Class I carrier in each state and the corporate income tax rates for each State. The Board proposes that AAR submit this information on or before the due date for the Class I railroads to submit their Annual Report R-1, Schedule 250.
Stagecoach Group PLC and Coach USA, Inc., et al.-Acquisition of Control-Twin America, LLC
On August 19, 2009, Stagecoach Group PLC (Stagecoach), a noncarrier, its noncarrier intermediate subsidiaries (Stagecoach Transport Holdings plc, SCUSI Ltd., Coach USA Administration, Inc.), Coach USA, Inc. (Coach USA), International Bus Services (IBS), a motor passenger carrier (MC-155937) controlled by Coach USA, City Sights Twin, LLC (City Sights Twin), a noncarrier, and Mr. Zev Marmurstein (collectively, Applicants), filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 to acquire control of Twin America, LLC (Twin America) when it becomes a carrier.\1\ Applicants advised the Board that the New York State Attorney General's office served subpoenas duces tecum on Gray Line New York Tours, Inc., Gray Line Twin, LLC, CitySights LLC, City Sights New York LLC, City Sights Daily LLC, and Twin America inquiring into the operation of those entities, the formation of Twin America, and related matters. On August 26, 2009, the New York State Attorney General filed a notice of intent to participate as a party of record. A copy of this notice will be served on the New York State Attorney General. Persons wishing to oppose this application must follow the rules at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8.
Renewal of National Grain Car Council
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended 5 U.S.C., App. (FACA), notice is hereby given that the Surface Transportation Board intends to renew the charter of the National Grain Car Council (NGCC).
Renewal of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended 5 U.S.C., App. (FACA), notice is hereby given that the Surface Transportation Board (Board) intends to renew the charter of the Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC).
Port of Moses Lake-Construction Exemption-Moses Lake, WA [STB Finance Docket No. 34936 (Sub-No. 1)]; Port of Moses Lake-Acquisition Exemption-Moses Lake, WA
Subject to a Programmatic Agreement negotiated by the parties and environmental mitigation measures, the Board is granting exemptions under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 for the Port of Moses Lake (Port) in STB Finance Docket No. 34936 to construct two segments of rail line in Moses Lake, WA, one between the community of Wheeler and Parker Horn at the mouth of Crab Creek and another between Columbia Basin Railroad Company, Inc. (CBRW) trackage and the east side of the Grant County International Airport, and in STB Finance Docket No. 34936 (Sub-No. 1) to acquire a segment of rail line from CBRW that runs approximately from Parker Horn near Stratford Road to near the Grant County International Airport, which would connect the newly constructed segments. The Port plans to rehabilitate and upgrade this line segment, including the upgrade of two signalized grade crossings. The Port estimates the total mileage of its construction and acquisition proposals to be approximately 11.5 miles in length.