On July 17, 2003, SWKR Operating Co. (SWKR) filed with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10903 to abandon a 19.9-mile line of railroad extending from milepost 7.0 (formerly milepost 1040.15), near Curtis, to the end of the line at milepost 26.9 (formerly milepost 1055.8), near Charleston, in Cochise County, AZ. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 85602, 85615, and 85621, and includes the station of Fairbank at milepost 19.1.
The line does not contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in SWKR's possession will be made available promptly to those requesting it.
The interest of railroad employees will be protected by the conditions set forth in Oregon Short Line R. Co.—Abandonment—Goshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979).
By issuing this notice, the Board is instituting an exemption proceeding Start Printed Page 46679pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502(b). A final decision will be issued by November 4, 2003.
Any offer of financial assistance (OFA) under 49 CFR 1152.27(b)(2) will be due no later than 10 days after service of a decision granting the petition for exemption. Each OFA must be accompanied by a $1,100 filing fee. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).
All interested persons should be aware that, following abandonment of rail service and salvage of the line, the line may be suitable for other public use, including interim trail use. Any request for a public use condition under 49 CFR 1152.28 or for trail use/rail banking under 49 CFR 1152.29 will be due no later than August 26, 2003. Each trail use request must be accompanied by a $150 filing fee. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(27).
All filings in response to this notice must refer to STB Docket No. AB-441 (Sub-No. 3X) and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) Louis E. Gitomer, Esq., Of Counsel, Ball Janik LLP, 1455 F Street, NW., Suite 225, Washington, DC 20005. Replies to the petition are due on or before August 26, 2003.
Persons seeking further information concerning abandonment procedures may contact the Board's Office of Public Services at (202) 565-1592 or refer to the full abandonment and discontinuance regulations at 49 CFR part 1152. Questions concerning environmental issues may be directed to the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) at (202) 565-1539. [Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.]
An environmental assessment (EA) (or an environmental impact statement (EIS), if necessary), prepared by SEA, will be served upon all parties of record and upon any agencies or other persons who commented during its preparation. Other interested persons may contact SEA to obtain a copy of the EA (or EIS). EAs in these abandonment proceedings normally will be made available within 60 days after the filing of the petition. The deadline for submission of comments on the EA will generally be within 30 days of its service.
Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at http://www.stb.dot.gov.Start Signature
Decided: July 30, 2003.
By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.
Vernon A. Williams,
[FR Doc. 03-19780 Filed 8-5-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-00-P