Limiting Extensions of Trail Use Negotiating Periods; Rails-to-Trails Conservancy-Petition for Rulemaking
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) grants in part a petition filed by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) in Docket No. EP 753 and amends its prior proposal in Docket No. EP 749 (Sub-No. 1) to revise certain regulations related to the National Trails System Act. Specifically, the Board proposes to modify, through this supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPR), its regulations to establish a new one-year period for any initial interim trail use negotiating period, instead of the existing 180-day initial negotiating period; to permit up to three one-year extensions of the initial period if the trail sponsor and the railroad agree; and to permit additional one-year extensions if the trail sponsor and the railroad agree and good cause is shown.
Water Carrier Tariff Filing Procedures
The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) adopts a new procedure for water carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade to electronically publish, file, and keep tariffs available for public inspection.
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).
Oversight Hearing on Demurrage and Accessorial Charges
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) will hold a public hearing on May 22, 2019, on railroad demurrage and accessorial charges. The hearing will be held in the Main Hearing Room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, located at 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC, near the Board's headquarters building. Representatives of Class I carriers are directed to appear at the hearing, and other interested parties, including shippers, receivers, third-party logistics providers, and representatives of shortline railroads, are invited to appear.
Petition for Rulemaking; Railroad Performance Data Reporting
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) is opening a rulemaking proceeding in response to a petition to amend its railroad performance data reporting rules. The Board does not rule on the merits of the petition but requests additional information regarding several issues raised in the petition and reply.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board finds that the second quarter 2019 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.065, RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.451, and RCAF-5 is 0.422. Comments on the inclusion of the recalculated figures in the RCAF may be submitted by April 18, 2019.
Payment, Filing, and Service Procedures
The Surface Transportation Board (Board or STB) adopts modifications to its rules pertaining to certain payment, filing, and service procedures. The adopted rule also updates and clarifies fees for copying, printing, and related services and removes outdated language from the Board's regulations.
National Express LLC-Acquisition of Control-Free Enterprise System/Royal, LLC
On February 27, 2019, National Express LLC (National Express) and Sodrel Holding Company, Inc. (Sodrel Holding) (collectively, Applicants), both noncarriers, jointly filed an application for National Express to acquire control of Free Enterprise System/Royal, LLC (Royal) from Sodrel Holding. 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.
Notice of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee Vacancy; Correction
The Surface Transportation Board published a document in the Federal Register of March 6, 2016, giving notice of one vacancy on its Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee and soliciting suggestions from the public for candidates to fill the vacancy. The published document contained an incorrect description of the vacancy.
Notice of Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council Vacancy
The Board hereby gives notice of an upcoming vacancy on RSTAC for a small shipper representative. The Board seeks suggestions for candidates to fill this vacancy.
Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment
In a decision served on March 11, 2019, the Board proposed to adopt 1.005 (0.5% per year) as the measure of average (geometric mean) change in railroad productivity for the 2013-2017 (five-year) period. This represents an increase of 0.9% from the average for the 2012-2016 period. The Board's March 11, 2019 decision in this proceeding stated that comments may be filed addressing any perceived data and computational errors in the Board's calculation. The decision also stated that unless a further order is issued postponing the effective date, this decision is effective on March 29, 2019.
Notice of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee Vacancy
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) hereby gives notice of one vacancy on its Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC) for a representative of the electric utility industry. The Board is soliciting suggestions from the public for candidates to fill the vacancy.
Texas Railway Exchange LLC-Construction and Operation Exemption-in Galveston County, Texas
The Surface Transportation Board's (Board's) Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) in response to a petition for exemption filed on November 21, 2018 by Texas Railway Exchange LLC (TREX) to construct and operate an approximately 2,800-foot line of railroad in the City of Galveston, Galveston County, Texas. The proposed rail line would connect the Texas International Terminals facility (the Terminal) on Galveston Bay with an existing line of railroad operated by BNSF Railway Company by crossing an existing Union Pacific Railroad rail line. The proposed rail line would offer a new alternative rail transportation option for rail traffic entering and leaving the Terminal. The Draft EA evaluates the potential environmental impacts of two alternative rail alignments, as well as the No-Action Alternative and preliminarily concludes that construction of the proposed rail line connection would have no significant environmental impacts if the Board imposes and TREX implements the recommended mitigation measures set forth in the Draft EA. The entire Draft EA is available on the Board's website (www.stb.dot.gov) by clicking on the ``Decisions & Notices'' button that appears in the drop down menu for ``ELIBRARY,'' and searching by Service Date (February 22, 2019) or Docket Number (FD 36186).