Accounting and Reporting of Business Combinations, Security Investments, Comprehensive Income, Derivative Instruments, and Hedging Activities
The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) is adopting final rules that update the accounting and reporting requirements in its Uniform System of Accounts (USOA) for Class I Railroads so that they are more consistent with current generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The Board is also revising the schedules and instructions for the Annual Report for Class I Railroads (R-1 or Form R-1) to better meet regulatory requirements and industry needs.
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.
Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) is revising, correcting, and updating its regulations. These modifications include replacing obsolete statutory references, updating office and address references, and correcting spelling, grammatical, terminology, explanatory, and typographical errors. The Board is also making changes to certain authority citations and to certain regulations related to reporting requirements.
Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment
In a decision served on February 12, 2016, we proposed to adopt 1.014 (1.4% per year) as the measure of average change in railroad productivity for the 2010-2014 (five-year) averaging period. This value represents an increase of 0.7% from the average for the 2009-2013 period. The Board's February 12, 2016 decision in this proceeding stated that comments may be filed addressing any perceived data and computational errors in the Board's calculation. It also stated that, if there were no further action taken by the Board, the proposed productivity adjustment would become effective on March 1, 2016.
Accelerating Reporting Requirements for Class I Railroads
The Board is withdrawing the proposed rules and discontinuing the EP 701 rulemaking proceeding which proposed to accelerate the filing deadlines for certain financial, employee, and traffic reports submitted by Class I railroads.
Information Required in Notices and Petitions Containing Interchange Commitments
The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) is issuing a final rule to insert language that was inadvertently omitted when an amended rule was promulgated on September 5, 2013. This decision is effective on its date of publication.
Decision; Notice of Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council Vacancy
The Board hereby gives notice of a vacancy for a small railroad representative on RSTAC. The Board is soliciting suggestions for candidates to fill this vacancy.
Notice and Request for Comments
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- 3521 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (Board) gives notice that it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for an extension of the Waybill Compliance Survey, which is further described below. The Board previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register. 80 FR 66,968 (Oct. 30, 2015). That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. 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.