Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company (B&LE) has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR part 1152 subpart F—Exempt Abandonments and Discontinuances to abandon and discontinue service over its line of railroad known as the Western Allegheny Branch, extending from Station 1400+80 East to End of Track, at Station 2460+98, in Armstrong and Butler Counties, PA, a distance of 20.1 miles (line). The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 16025, 16028, 16041, and 16061.
B&LE has certified that: (1) No local traffic has been handled over the line for at least 2 years; (2) no overhead traffic has been handled over the line for at least 2 years; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the line (or by a state or local government agency acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the line is either pending with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) or any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of complainant within the 2-year period; and (4) the requirements at 49 CFR 1105.7 (environmental reports), 49 CFR 1105.8 (historic reports), 49 CFR 1105.11 (transmittal letter), 49 CFR 1105.12 (newspaper publication), and 49 CFR 1152.50(d)(1) (notice to governmental agencies) have been met.
As a condition to this exemption, any employee adversely affected by the abandonment shall be protected under Oregon Short Line R. Co.—Abandonment—Goshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). To address whether this condition adequately protects affected employees, a petition for partial revocation under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) must be filed. Provided no formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance (OFA) has been received, this exemption will be effective on November 9, 2000, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues, formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2), and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by October 20, 2000. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by October 30, 2000, with the Surface Transportation Board, Office of the Secretary, Case Control Unit, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.
A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to applicant's representative: Thomas R. Ogoreuc, Esq., Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company, 135 Jamison Lane, Monroeville, PA 15146. If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.
B&LE has filed an environmental report which addresses the abandonment's effects, if any, on the environment and historic resources. The Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by October 16, 2000. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to SEA (Room 500, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423-0001) or by calling SEA, at (202) 565-1545. Comments on environmental and historic preservation matters must be filed within 15 days after the EA becomes available to the public.
Environmental, historic preservation, public use, or trail use/rail banking conditions will be imposed, where appropriate, in a subsequent decision.
Pursuant to the provisions of 49 CFR 1152.29(e)(2), B&LE shall file a notice of consummation with the Board to signify that it has exercised the authority granted and fully abandoned the line. If consummation has not been effected by B&LE's filing of a notice of consummation by October 10, 2001, and there are no legal or regulatory barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically expire.
Board decisions and notices are available on our website at “WWW.STB.DOT.GOV.Start Signature
Decided: September 28, 2000.
By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.
Vernon A. Williams,
1. The Board will grant a stay if an informed decision on environmental issues (whether raised by a party or by the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis in its independent investigation) cannot be made before the exemption's effective date. See Exemption of Out-of-Service Rail Lines, 5 I.C.C.2d 377 (1989). Any request for a stay should be filed as soon as possible so that the Board may take appropriate action before the exemption's effective date.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 00-25757 Filed 10-6-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-00-P