Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) has filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1152 Subpart F—Exempt Abandonments to abandon 4.0 miles of its line of railroad between milepost BH-0.0 at Bull Creek and milepost BH-4.0 at Harman, in Buchanan County, VA. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 24618.
NSR has certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) no overhead traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years and overhead traffic, if there were any, could 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 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 October 9, 2003, unless Start Printed Page 53218stayed 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 September 19, 2003. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by September 29, 2003, with: Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.
A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to NSR's representative: James R. Paschall, General Attorney, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Three Commercial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510.
If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.
NSR has filed an environmental report which addresses the abandonment's effects, if any, on the environment or historic resources. SEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by September 12, 2003. 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) 565-1539. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) 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), NSR 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 NSR's filing of a notice of consummation by September 9, 2004, 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 http://www.stb.dot.gov.Start Signature
Decided: August 29, 2003.
By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.
Vernon A. Williams,
1. In its notice, NSR indicated a proposed consummation date of October 8, 2003. Under 49 CFR 1152.50(d)(2), however, the earliest the exemption could become effective is 50 days after the verified notice of exemption was filed. The notice was filed on August 20, 2003. Therefore, the effective date of the exemption is October 9, 2003, and consummation may not take place prior to that date. NSR's representative has been notified and has confirmed that consummation will not take place before October 9, 2003.Back to Citation
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.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 03-22772 Filed 9-8-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-00-P