Notice and Request for Comments
As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 501-3519 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of approval for the collection of the Rail Fuel Surcharge Report. The Board previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register on June 29, 2010, at 75 FR 37,522. That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. The Rail Fuel Surcharge Report is described in detail below. Comments may now be submitted to OMB 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 this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the fourth quarter 2010 Rail Cost Adjustment Factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The fourth quarter 2010 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.104. The fourth quarter 2010 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.494. The fourth quarter 2010 RCAF-5 is 0.468.
GNP Rly, Inc.-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Redmond Spur and Woodinville Subdivision
On August 24, 2010, GNP Rly, Inc. (GNP), a Class III rail carrier, filed a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10902 to acquire and resume rail service over 2 segments of railbanked railroad right-of-way (ROW) totaling 9.1 miles, consisting of: (1) A ROW extending from milepost 0.0, at Woodinville, Wash., to approximately milepost 7.30 at Redmond, Wash. (Redmond Spur); and (2) a ROW extending from milepost 23.8 to milepost 22.0, at or near Woodinville (Woodinville Subdivision).\1\ The petition for exemption was filed concurrently with GNP's petition to vacate in part the NITUs issued for the Redmond Spur and a longer segment of the Woodinville Subdivision (extending from milepost 23.8 to milepost 11.25). Those NITUs permitted railbanking/interim trail use negotiations under the Trails Act, 16 U.S.C. 1247(d). The Board seeks comments from interested persons on GNP's request to resume rail service and partially vacate the NITUs.
U. S. Rail Corporation-Construction and Operation Exemption-Brookhaven Rail Terminal
Subject to environmental mitigation conditions, the Board is granting an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 for U. S. Rail Corporation (U. S. Rail) to construct and operate a line of railroad at a 28-acre site to be known as the Brookhaven Rail Terminal (BRT), in Brookhaven, Suffolk County, N.Y. According to U. S. Rail, the total length of the track to be constructed is about 18,000 feet. The purpose of the proposed construction is to enable U. S. Rail to serve the BRT as a common carrier and to deliver up to 500,000 tons of aggregate annually from sources in upstate New York to Sills Road Realty, LLC (Sills), the owner of the underlying property, and its affiliates and related companies on Long Island. The project is intended to reduce Sills' reliance on truck transport of aggregate through the New York City metropolitan region.
Notice of National Grain Car Council Meeting
Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Grain Car Council (NGCC), pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Pub. L. No. 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C., App. 2).
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).
RailAmerica, Inc., Palm Beach Holding, Inc., RailAmerica Transportation Corp., Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis, Chicago Ft. Wayne and Eastern Railroad Division, Fortress Investment Group, LLC, and RR Acquisition Holding, LLC-Control Exemption-Delphos Terminal Company, Inc.
The Board grants an exemption, under 49 U.S.C. 10502, from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323-25, for RailAmerica, Inc. (RailAmerica); Palm Beach Holding, Inc. (Palm Beach); RailAmerica Transportation Corp. (RTC); Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis (CERA); Chicago Ft. Wayne and Eastern Railroad Division (CFE); Fortress Investment Group, LLC (Fortress), on behalf of certain private equity funds managed by Fortress and its affiliates; and RR Acquisition Holding, LLC (RR Acquisition), to acquire control of Delphos Terminal Company, Inc. (DTC), subject to labor protective conditions. Pursuant to an agreement that CERA, a Class III rail carrier, intends to enter into with Bunge North America (East), LLC (Bunge), the parent company of DTC, CERA will acquire from Bunge all of the issued and outstanding shares of stock of DTC and will thus acquire direct control of DTC. Fortress, RR Acquisition, RailAmerica, Palm Beach, and RTC will indirectly control DTC, because Fortress's noncarrier affiliate, RR Acquisition, controls noncarrier RailAmerica; RailAmerica directly controls noncarrier Palm Beach; Palm Beach directly controls noncarrier RTC; and RTC directly controls CERA. RailAmerica is a holding company that directly or indirectly controls 1 Class II and 29 Class III railroads. Fortress is a noncarrier that indirectly controls 1 Class II rail carrier.\1\
Notice and Request for Comments
As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3519 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a reinstatement of approval for the collection of the Waybill Compliance Survey. The Board previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register on May 27, 2010, at 75 FR 29812. That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. The Waybill Compliance Survey is described in detail below. Comments may now be submitted to OMB 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 this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility.
Assessment of Mediation and Arbitration Procedures
The Board seeks comments on matters relating to the use of mediation and arbitration as effective means of resolving disputes that are subject to the Board's jurisdiction. Depending upon the Board's assessment of the comments received, the Board may propose revisions to its current rules or propose new rules in order to encourage the use of mediation and arbitration in the resolution of disputes. If so, the proposed changes or new rules would be published and made available for review and comment in a subsequent notice.
TTX Company-Application for Approval of Pooling of Car Service With Respect to Flatcars
In 2004, the Surface Transportation Board (Board) granted TTX Company (TTX) a 10-year extension of its authority to pool certain rail cars, subject to monitoring by the Board during the term of TTX's extension. Pursuant to this monitoring commitment, the Board, in September 2009, invited comments from interested parties on whether any of TTX's activities require oversight action by the Board. After reviewing the comments, the Board is issuing a final decision concluding that no modification to its approval of the activities of TTX pursuant to TTX's pooling agreement is required.
San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad-Petition for a Declaratory Order
In response to a petition filed by the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad (SLRG), the Board is instituting a declaratory order proceeding under 5 U.S.C. 554(e) and 49 U.S.C. 721 to determine whether the Board's jurisdiction preempts the land use code of Conejos County, Colo. (County) that might otherwise apply to SLRG's proposed operation of a containerized truck-to-rail solid waste transload facility at Antonito, Colo. No responses to the petition have been filed. As discussed below, the Board will provide SLRG an opportunity to supplement its filing and will seek public comments in response, with a particular focus on, but not limited to, issues related to the Clean Railroads Act of 2008, 49 U.S.C. 10501(c)(2), 10908-10910 (CRA).
Establishment of the Toxic by Inhalation Hazard Common Carrier Transportation Advisory Committee
As required by Sec. 9(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. app., the Surface Transportation Board hereby gives notice that, following consultation with the General Services Administration, the Board will create the Toxic by Inhalation Hazard Common Carrier Transportation Advisory Committee (TIHCCTAC), to provide independent advice and policy suggestions to the Board on issues related to the common carrier obligation with respect to the rail transportation of toxic by inhalation hazards (TIH), and specifically, to outline what is a railroad's reasonable response to a shipper's request that it transport TIH cargo. The TIHCCTAC will convene for a two-year period during which the Board anticipates it will produce a report that will include a recommended policy statement for further consideration by the Board. The Board may renew the TIHCCTAC charter if the Board deems it advisable. This notice seeks comments on the proposed TIHCCTAC structure, as outlined below. It also requests nominations for members of the TIHCCTAC.
Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection With Licensing and Related Services-2010 Update
The Board adopts its 2010 User-Fee Update and revises its fee schedule to reflect increased costs associated with the January 2010 government salary increases, to reflect government fringe benefits, and to consider changes to the Board's overhead costs.