Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the fourth quarter 2012 rail cost adjustment factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The fourth quarter 2012 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.209. The fourth quarter 2012 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.529. The fourth quarter 2012 RCAF-5 is 0.499.
CSX Transportation, Inc.-Acquisition of Operating Easement-Grand Trunk Western Railroad Company
CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) and Grand Trunk Western Railroad Company (GTW) have agreed to exchange perpetual rail operating easements over certain parts of each other's lines. GTW has agreed to grant CSXT an easement over a GTW line between Munster, Ind., and Elsdon, Ill. (Elsdon Line), over which GTW would retain local and overhead trackage rights. CSXT also has agreed to convey local and overhead trackage rights over that line to various GTW affiliates and a CSXT affiliate. In exchange for that easement, CSXT has agreed to grant GTW an easement over a CSXT line between Leewood, Tenn., and Aulon, Tenn., over which CSXT would retain local and overhead trackage rights. In this docket, CSXT has filed an application for authority to acquire an easement from GTW, and in the embraced Docket Nos. FD 35522 (Sub-No. 1) and (Sub-No. 2), the CSXT affiliate and the various GTW affiliates, respectively, seek authority to acquire trackage rights over that line.
Genesee & Wyoming Inc.-Control-RailAmerica, Inc., et al.
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) is accepting for consideration the application filed August 6, 2012, by Genesee and Wyoming Inc. (GWI) and RailAmerica, Inc. (RailAmerica). The application seeks Board approval under 49 U.S.C. 11323-11325 of the acquisition of control of RailAmerica, a noncarrier holding company, by GWI, a noncarrier holding company. This proposal is referred to as the Transaction, and GWI and RailAmerica are referred to collectively as Applicants. The Board finds that the application is complete and that the Transaction is a minor transaction upon the preliminary determination that the Transaction clearly will not have any anticompetitive effects. 49 CFR 1180.2(b)(1), (c). The Board makes this determination based solely on the evidence presented in the application. The Board stresses that this is not a final determination, and its finding may be rebutted by filings and evidence submitted into the record for this proceeding. The Board will give careful consideration to any claims that the Transaction would have anticompetitive effects that are not apparent from the application itself.
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, as amended.
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).
Information Collection Activities (Released Rates)
As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3519 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice of its intent to seek from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the information collections (here third-party disclosures) required under the Board's decision in Released Rates of Motor Common Carriers of Household Goods, Docket No. RR 999 (Amendment No. 5) (served Jan. 21, 2011 (2011 Decision) and Jan.10, 2012 (2012 Decision) and modified on May 15, 2012). Under 49 U.S.C. 13501, 13531, and 14706(f)(2), the Board is charged with oversight of certain motor carrier tariffs (the published rates that interstate movers of household goods charge for the services they offer). More specifically, the Interstate Commerce Act requires that such a mover offer what are known as ``full-value'' rates, which are rates under which the mover will be liable for the full value of any lost or damaged cargo. Full- value has been defined by statute to mean the ``replacement value'' of the goods (the cost to the consumer to replace the items lost or damaged (49 CFR 375.201)). Additionally, the Board and its predecessor agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission, have authorized moving companies to offer consumers a lower, ``released'' rate under which the carrier is released from full liability for lost or damaged cargo and assumes less than the statutory level of cargo liability for an interstate move. In its 2011 Decision and notice (76 FR 5,431), the Board issued preliminary regulations implementing a Congressional directive to enhance consumer protection in the case of loss or damage that occurs during interstate household-good moves. See Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Sec. 4215, Public Law 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1760 (2005). The 2011 Decision required movers to provide certain information concerning the two available cargo-liability options on the written estimate formthe first form that a moving company must give to a customer. In response to comments, the 2012 Decision modified the disclosure requirements proposed in the 2011 Decision (See 77 FR 15187- 01). Subsequently, in response to further public comments, the Board issued a March 9, 2012 decision and notice postponing the effective date of the new requirements until May 15 (See 77 FR 15187-01). These disclosure requirements, which fall within the definition of information collections under the PRA (see 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c)), are described in more detail below and appear in full in the appendices to this notice. 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. Submitted comments will be summarized and included in the Board's request for OMB approval.
30-Day Notice of Request for Approval: Statutory Authority To Preserve Rail Service
As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3519 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice of its intent to seek from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the information collections required under 49 U.S.C. 10904-05 and 10907, and 16 U.S.C. 1247(d). 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 (section 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 (section 10907). Additionally, the railroad owning the rail line subject to abandonment must, in some circumstances, provide information to the applicant or offeror. The Board previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register on February 10, 2012, at 77 FR 7236-37 (60-day notice). That notice allowed for a 60- day public review and comment period. No comments were received. The information collection for which approval is sought 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.
Petition for Rulemaking To Adopt Revised Competitive Switching Rules
The Surface Transportation Board (the Board) is commencing a proceeding to consider a proposal submitted by The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) to increase rail-to-rail competition. The Board is seeking empirical evidence about the impact of the proposal, if it were to be adopted. Specifically, the Board is seeking public input on the proposal's impact on rail shippers' rates and service, including shippers that would not benefit under NITL's proposal; the proposal's impact on the rail industry, including its financial condition and network efficiencies; along with methodologies for the access price that would be used in conjunction with competitive switching.
Rate Regulation Reforms
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) proposes to change some of its existing regulations and procedures concerning rate complaint proceedings. The Board previously created two simplified procedures to reduce the time, complexity, and expense of rate cases. The Board now proposes to modify its rules to remove the limitation on relief for one simplified approach, and to double the relief available under the other simplified approach. The Board also proposes technical changes to the full and simplified rate procedures, and to raise the interest rate that railroads must pay on reparations if they are found to have charged unreasonable rates. The overarching goal is to ensure that the Board's simplified and expedited processes for resolving rate disputes are more accessible.
Information Collection Activities (Depreciation Studies)
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 of its intent to request from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the information collectionRail Depreciation Studiesfurther described below. Comments are requested concerning (1) whether this collection of information 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 comments will be included and/or summarized in the Board's request for OMB approval.
Fees for Services Performed in Connection With Licensing and Related Services-2012 Update
The Board adopts its 2012 user-fee update and revises its fee schedule to reflect some increases to its full cost calculations, the result of no wage & salary increases given in January 2012, no change to publication costs from their 2011 levels, coupled with both increases and decreases to the Board's three overhead cost factors.