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 the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. app. 2 10(a)(2).
Review of Commodity, Boxcar, and Trailer-on-Flatcar/Container-on-Flatcar (TOFC/COFC) Exemptions
The Surface Transportation Board (Board or STB) seeks public comment on its proposal to revoke the existing class exemptions for crushed or broken stone or rip rap; hydraulic cement; and coke produced from coal, primary iron or steel products, and iron or steel scrap, wastes or tailings. The Board also invites interested parties to file, during the comment period for these proposed rules, comments regarding the possible revocation of other commodity class exemptions.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the second quarter 2016 rail cost adjustment factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The second quarter 2016 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 0.840. The second quarter 2016 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.356. The second quarter 2016 RCAF-5 is 0.336.
Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc: Authority To Construct and Operate a Rail Line in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin
Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc. (GLBT) plans to file either a petition for exemption pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502, or an application pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10901, seeking authority from the Surface Transportation Board (Board) to construct and operate an approximately 278-mile rail line. According to GLBT, the proposed rail line would extend generally from near La Porte, Indiana through Illinois to near Milton, Wisconsin and would connect with existing Class I railroads. The construction and operation of the GLBT's proposed rail line has the potential to result in significant environmental impacts; therefore, the Board's Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) has determined that the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is appropriate pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The purpose of this Notice of Intent is to inform stakeholdersincluding members of the public; Tribes; federal, state, and local agencies; environmental groups; potential shippers and other partiesinterested in or potentially affected by the proposed project. OEA will hold public scoping meetings as part of the NEPA process. Comments submitted during scoping will assist OEA in defining the range of alternatives and potential impacts to be considered in the EIS. OEA has developed a Draft Scope of Study for the EIS for stakeholder review and comment. Public meeting dates and locations, along with the Draft Scope of Study, are provided below. This Notice of Intent initiates the EIS process and scoping.
Revised Procedural Schedule In Stand-Alone Cost Cases
The Surface Transportation Board (Board or STB) is revising its regulations by adjusting the procedural schedule in stand-alone cost (SAC) cases to conform with the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 (STB Reauthorization Act).
Railroad Cost of Capital-2015
The Board is instituting a proceeding to determine the railroad industry's cost of capital for 2015. The decision solicits comments on the following issues: The railroads' 2015 current cost of debt capital; the railroads' 2015 current cost of preferred equity capital (if any); the railroads' 2015 cost of common equity capital; and the 2015 capital structure mix of the railroad industry on a market value basis. Comments should focus on the various cost of capital components listed above using the same methodology followed in Railroad Cost of Capital2014, EP 558 (Sub-No. 18) (STB served Aug. 7, 2015).
Lone Star Railroad, Inc. and Southern Switching Company-Track Construction and Operation Exemption-in Howard County, Texas
The Board is granting an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 for Lone Star Railroad, Inc., to construct and operate a new line of railroad in Howard County, Tex. The Line would be used to provide rail service to an industrial park near Big Spring, Tex., via a connection with an existing Union Pacific Railroad Company mainline that extends between Dallas and El Paso, Tex. This exemption is subject to environmental mitigation conditions. The Board, however, is denying, without prejudice, the petition for exemption with respect to Southern Switching Company's proposed operation of the newly constructed line because the record does not support the authority requested.