Semiannual Regulatory Agenda
The Surface Transportation Board is publishing the Acting Chairman's agenda of rulemaking actions pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (Pub. L. 96-354, 94 Stat. 1164) (Sep. 19, 1980). The items listed in the Regulatory Flexibility Agenda for fall 2017 reflect the priorities of the Acting Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board and do not necessarily reflect the priorities of any other individual Board Member. Listed below are the regulatory actions to be developed or reviewed during the next 12 months. Following each rule identified is a brief description of the rule, including its purpose and legal basis.
Civil Monetary Penalties-2018 Adjustment
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) is issuing a final rule to implement the annual inflationary adjustment to its civil monetary penalties, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.
Notice of Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council Vacancies
The Board hereby gives notice of vacancies on RSTAC for two small shipper representatives, one large shipper representative, two small railroad representatives, and two large railroad representatives. The Board seeks suggestions for candidates to fill these vacancies.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the first quarter 2018 Rail Cost Adjustment Factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. A new base level for the index is calculated in the Board's decision, as the statute requires be done every five years. The first quarter 2018 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.027. The first quarter 2018 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.422. The first quarter 2018 RCAF-5 is 0.402.
Expediting Rate Cases
Pursuant to section 11 of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 (STB Reauthorization Act), the Surface Transportation Board (Board) is modifying rules pertaining to its rate case procedures.
Release of Waybill Data
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) published a document in the Federal Register on October 30, 2017, concerning a request from Thompson Hine LLP, on behalf of itself, Economists, and L.E. Peabody & Associates (WB17-4410/20/17) for permission to use certain unmasked data from the Board's 2006-2016 Carload Waybill Samples. STB is correcting the deadline objections to the request are due.
National Express LLC-Acquisition of Control-Queen City Transportation, LLC
On October 13, 2017, National Express LLC (National Express or Applicant), a noncarrier, filed an application under to acquire control of Queen City Transportation, LLC (Queen City). The Board is tentatively approving and authorizing the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action.
Sureride Charter Inc.-Acquisition of Control-McClintock Enterprises, Inc. D/B/A Goldfield Stage & Company
On October 3, 2017, Sureride Charter Inc. d/b/a Sundiego Charter Co. d/b/a SunExpress Charter Co. (SCI), an interstate passenger motor carrier, filed an application to acquire McClintock Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Goldfield Stage & Company (the Acquisition Carrier), an interstate passenger motor carrier. The Board is tentatively approving and authorizing the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action. Persons wishing to oppose the application must follow the rules.
Revisions to the Cost-of-Capital Composite Railroad Criteria
The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) is adopting a final action to update one of the screening criteria used to create the ``composite railroad'' for the Board's annual cost-of-capital determination. This final action requires a company's stock to be listed on either the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ), rather than on either the NYSE or American Stock Exchange (AMEX), as the AMEX no longer exists.
Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment
In a decision served on September 29, 2017, the Surface Transportation Board proposes a second tentative productivity adjustment for the change in the railroad productivity for the 2011- 2015 averaging period, modified to reflect new data, and invites comments on a new ``linking factor'' computed to enable the modified 2015 productivity adjustment to be compared to prior years' productivity adjustments. The Board will also hold a technical workshop with interested parties and Board staff.
Ex Parte Communications in Informal Rulemaking Proceedings
In this decision, the Surface Transportation Board (the Board) proposes to modify its regulations to permit, subject to disclosure requirements, ex parte communications in informal rulemaking proceedings. The Board also proposes other changes to its ex parte rules that would clarify and update when and how interested persons may communicate informally with the Board regarding pending proceedings other than rulemakings. The intent of the proposed regulations is to enhance the Board's ability to make informed decisions through increased stakeholder communications while ensuring that the Board's record-building process in rulemaking proceedings remains transparent and fair.
Renewal of National Grain Car Council
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), notice is hereby given that the Surface Transportation Board intends to renew the charter of the National Grain Car Council (NGCC).
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).
Renewal of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given that the Surface Transportation Board (Board) intends to renew the charter of the Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC).
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board approves the fourth quarter 2017 Rail Cost Adjustment Factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The fourth quarter 2017 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 0.889. The fourth quarter 2017 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.367. The fourth quarter 2017 RCAF-5 is 0.350.