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Notice

Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in St. Louis County, MN

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Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Company (DM&IR) has filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1152 Subpart F—Exempt Abandonments and Discontinuances to abandon and discontinue service over a 0.63-mile line of railroad known as the Virginia Branch, extending from milepost B5.5 to milepost B6.1, in St. Louis County, MN. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 55792.

DM&IR has certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved 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 entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the line either is pending with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) or with 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 and discontinuance 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 Start Printed Page 10255revocation 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 April 5, 2002, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues,[1] formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2),[2] and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by March 18, 2002. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by March 26, 2002 with: Surface Transportation Board, Office of the Secretary, Case Control Unit, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423.

A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to applicant's representative: Thomas R. Ogoreuc, 135 Jamison Lane, Monroeville, PA 15146.

If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.

DM&IR has filed an environmental report which addresses the abandonment's effects, if any, on the environment and historic resources. SEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by March 11, 2002. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to SEA (Room 500, Surface Transportation, Board, Washington, DC 20423) or by calling SEA, at (202) 565-1552. [TDD for the hearing impaired is available at 1-800-877-8339.] 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), DM&IR shall file a notice of consummation with the Board to signify that it has exercised the authority granted and fully abandoned its line. If consummation has not been effected by DM&IR's filing of a notice of consummation by March 6, 2003, 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.

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Decided: February 25, 2002.

By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.

Vernon A. Williams,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

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 (SEA) 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.

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2.  Each offer of financial assistance must be accompanied by the filing fee, which currently is set at $1000. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).

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[FR Doc. 02-4928 Filed 3-5-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-00-P