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Notice

The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Nelson and Eddy Counties, ND

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The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) has filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1152 subpart F-Exempt Abandonments to abandon and discontinue service over a 6.00-mile line of railroad between milepost 92.00 in Tolna and milepost 98.00 in Hamar, in Nelson and Eddy Counties, ND. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 58380.

BNSF has certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) any overhead traffic on the line can be rerouted over other lines; (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 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 June 8, 2002,[1] unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues,[2] formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2),[3] and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by May 20, 2002. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by May 29, 2002, with: Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423.

A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to applicant's representative: Michael Smith, Freeborn & Peters, 311 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 3000, Chicago, IL 60606-6677.

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

BNSF 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 May 14, 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), BNSF 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 BNSF's filing of a notice of consummation by May 9, 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 Web site at “www.stb.dot.gov.”

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Decided: May 1, 2002.

By the Board, Joseph H. Dettmar, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings.

Vernon A. Williams,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  While applicant initially indicated a proposed consummation date of June 5, 2002, and because applicant did not include the required filing fee, a new filing date was entered on April 19, 2002, when the Board received the correct filing fee. However, consummation may not occur prior to June 8, 2002 (50 days after the April 19, 2002 filing date of the verified notice). Applicant's representative has subsequently confirmed that consummation cannot occur before June 8, 2002.

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2.  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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3.  Each offer of financial assistance must be accompanied by the filing fee, which as of April 8, 2002, is set at $1,100. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).

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[FR Doc. 02-11618 Filed 5-8-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-00-P