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).
Variant Equity I, LP, and Project Kenwood Acquistion, LLC-Acquisition of Control-Coach USA Administration, Inc., and Coach USA, Inc.
On December 20, 2018, Variant Equity I, LP (Variant), and Project Kenwood Acquisition, LLC (collectively, Applicants), both noncarriers, jointly filed an application to acquire from SCUSI Limited 100% of the stock in Coach USA Administration, Inc., a noncarrier that owns 100% of Coach USA, Inc., another noncarrier, that controls 29 motor passenger carriers that hold federally-issued interstate operating authority. The Board is tentatively approving and authorizing the transaction,\1\ 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.
Kean Burenga and Chesapeake and Delaware, LLC-Continuance in Control Exemption-Dover and Delaware River Railroad, LLC
The Board is granting an exemption for Kean Burenga (Burenga) and Chesapeake and Delaware, LLC (CAD), both noncarriers, to continue in control of Dover and Delaware River Railroad, LLC (DDRR), when DDRR becomes a Class III rail carrier in a related transaction involving DDRR's lease and operation of 27.2 miles of rail lines owned by Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) and operation of 80.7 miles of rail lines pursuant to a trackage rights agreement among DDRR, New Jersey Transit Corporation, and NSR.\1\ All of the affected lines are located in the State of New Jersey. The lines over which DDRR will operate connect with lines operated by Dover and Rockaway River Railroad, LCC (Rockaway), another Class III carrier that CAD controls.\2\ Because all of the carriers involved are Class III carriers, this continuance-in- control exemption is not subject to labor protective conditions.
Railroad Cost of Capital-2018
The Board is instituting a proceeding to determine the railroad industry's cost of capital for 2018. The decision solicits comments on the following issues: The railroads' 2018 current cost of debt capital; the railroads' 2018 current cost of preferred equity capital (if any); the railroads' 2018 cost of common equity capital; and the 2018 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 Capital2017, EP 558 (Sub-No. 21) (STB served Dec. 6, 2018).
Water Carrier Tariff Filing Procedures
The Board provides notice that comments to this notice of proposed rulemaking due to the Board during the partial Federal government shutdown period will now be due by February 4, 2019.
Filings Submitted or Due To Be Submitted During the Partial Federal Government Shutdown
The Board provides notice that any material due to be submitted to the Board during the partial Federal government shutdown period (including comments on environmental documents) will now be due no later than February 4, 2019, unless otherwise ordered by the Board. Further, filings (including recordations) that were submitted during the shutdown will be considered filed on January 28, 2019, provided all filing requirements have been met.
Civil Monetary Penalties-2019 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.
Water Carrier Tariff Filing Procedures
The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) proposes a new procedure for water carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade to electronically publish, file, and keep tariffs available for public inspection. As explained in this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), the Board proposes to update its water carrier tariff filing regulations to reflect current business practices.
Railroad Revenue Adequacy-2017 Determination
On December 21, 2018, the Board served a decision announcing the 2017 revenue adequacy determinations for the Nation's Class I railroads. Four carriers (BNSF Railway Company, Norfolk Southern Combined Railroad Subsidiaries, Soo Line Corporation, and Union Pacific Railroad Company) were found to be revenue adequate.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the first quarter 2019 Rail Cost Adjustment Factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The first quarter 2019 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.058. The first quarter 2019 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.448. The first quarter 2019 RCAF-5 is 0.419.
Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for Palmetto Railways Camp Hall Rail Line
On August 3, 2017, Palmetto Railways (Applicant) filed an exemption petition with the Board pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502 to construct and operate approximately 28 miles of new rail line between the Cross Subdivision of CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) rail network near the Santee Cooper Cross Generating Station and the Camp Hall Commerce Park in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Implementation of the proposed rail line would bring industrial rail service to the Volvo Cars facility, as well as areas being developed by Santee Cooper. FRA and the Coast Guard are cooperating agencies in the preparation of this Draft EA pursuant to CEQ NEPA implementing regulations (40 CFR 1501.6). The purpose of this Notice of Availability (NOA) is to notify individuals and agencies interested in or affected by the proposed action of the availability of the Draft EA for review and comment on November 30, 2018. The Draft EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternatives, including the no- action alternative. The Draft EA addresses environmental issues and concerns identified during the scoping process. It also contains OEA's preliminary recommendations for environmental mitigation measures, and Palmetto Railways' voluntary mitigation measures. The Draft EA will be available on November 30, 2018 through the Board's website at http://www.stb.gov by following the decisions link, through the project website at http://www.CampHallRailNEPA.com, and at all public libraries in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Next Steps: Following the close of the 30-day comment period on December 30, 2018 of the Draft EA, OEA, the Corps, and the cooperating agencies will issue a Final EA that considers comments on the Draft EA. The Board will then issue a final decision based on the Draft and Final EAs and all public and agency comments in the public record for this proceeding. The final decision will address the transportation merits of the proposed project and the entire environmental record. That final decision will take one of three actions: Approve the proposed project, deny it, or approve it with mitigation conditions, including environmental conditions. Written Comments: Any interested party may submit written comments on the Draft EA. The procedures for submitting written comments are outlined below: