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.
Railroad Revenue Adequacy-2016 Determination
On September 6, 2017, the Board served a decision announcing the 2016 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.
Public Listening Session Regarding CSX Transportation, Inc.'s Rail Service Issues; Joint Petition of Foresight Coal Sales, LLC, Sugar Camp Energy, LLC, Williamson Energy, LLC, and Consolidation Coal Company To Address the Adequacy of CSX Transportation's Coal Transportation Service Originating in the Illinois Basin and Northern Appalachia
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) will hold a public listening session on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at its offices in Washington, DC, to hear from CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT), on its efforts to implement its new operating plan and to address service problems on its network, to provide shippers the opportunity to report on recent CSXT rail service issues they have experienced, and to discuss whether additional service recovery efforts may be necessary.
Notice of National Grain Car Council Meeting
Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Grain Car Council (NGCC), pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
Semiannual Regulatory Agenda
The Surface Transportation Board (the Board), in accordance with the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), is publishing a semiannual agenda of: (1) Current and projected rulemakings; and (2) existing regulations being reviewed to determine whether to propose modifications through rulemaking. 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.
30-Day Notice of Intent To Seek Extension of Approval: Demurrage Liability Disclosure Requirements
As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice that it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an extension of approval for the collection of Demurrage Liability Disclosure Requirements. The Board previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register. 60-Day Notice of Intent to Seek Extension of Approval: Demurrage Liability Disclosure Requirements, 82 FR 16,872 (Apr. 6, 2017). That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received.
60-Day Notice of Intent To Seek Extension of Approval: Applications for Land-Use-Exemption Permits
As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice that it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an extension of approval for the collection of Applications for Land-Use-Exemption Permits (for Solid Waste Rail Transfer Facilities).
Notice of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee Vacancy
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) hereby gives notice of two vacancies on its Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC) for (1) a representative from biofuel feedstock growers or providers and biofuel refiners, processors, and distributors, and (2) an ``at large'' representative with relevant experience in the transportation of energy resources. The Board is soliciting suggestions from the public for candidates to fill these two vacancies.
Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection With Licensing and Related Services-2017 Update
The Board updates for 2017 the fees that the public must pay to file certain cases and pleadings with the Board. Pursuant to this update, 83 of the Board's 133 fees will be increased, while 50 fees will be maintained at their current levels.
Publication Requirements for Agricultural Products; Rail Transportation of Grain, Rate Regulation Review
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) is adopting final rules amending its regulations on the publication of rate and service terms for agricultural products and fertilizer. The Board also denies a petition for reconsideration of the Board's policy statement regarding aggregation of claims and standing issues as they relate to rate complaint procedures.
Offers of Financial Assistance
The Surface Transportation Board (Board or STB) adopts changes to its rules pertaining to Offers of Financial Assistance to improve the process and protect it against abuse.
United States Department of Energy and United States Department of Defense v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, et al.; United States Department of Energy and United States Department of Defense v. Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad Company, et al.
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) has approved the settlement agreement (Agreement) proposed by the United States Department of Energy and the United States Department of Defense (together, the Government) and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR); prescribed the Agreement's rate update methodologies (as slightly amended), maximum revenue-to-variable cost (R/VC) ratios, and rates; dismissed NSR as a defendant in these proceedings; extinguished all of NSR's liability (including that of its predecessors and subsidiaries) for reparations; relieved NSR from any further requirement to participate in these proceedings, except in response to a properly issued subpoena under the Board's rules; and continued to hold the proceedings in abeyance pending further settlement negotiations.