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Notice

North Central Railway Association, Inc.-Abandonment Exemption-in Hardin County, IA

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North Central Railway Association, Inc. (NCRA), has filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1152 subpart F—Exempt Abandonments to abandon and discontinue service over a 10.54-mile line of railroad between milepost 201.46, near Ackley, IA, and milepost 212.00, near Steamboat Rock, IA, in Hardin County, IA.[1] The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 50672, 50671, and 50601.

NCRA has certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) there is no overhead traffic on the line that would have to be rerouted; (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 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 Start Printed Page 19236CFR 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 May 13, 2006, 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 April 24, 2006. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by May 3, 2006, with the Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.

A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to NCRA's representative: T. Scott Bannister, Attorney for North Central Railway Association, Inc., 111 Fifty-Sixth Street, Des Moines, IA 50312.

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

NCRA has filed environmental and historic reports that address the effects, if any, of the abandonment on the environment and historic resources. SEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by April 18, 2006. 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), NCRA 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 NCRA's filing of a notice of consummation by April 13, 2007, 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.

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Decided: April 7, 2006.

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

Vernon A. Williams,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  NCRA's notice of exemption identified the issue line as an 11.70-mile rail line, from milepost 200.30 to milepost 212.00. Subsequently, NCRA was advised of an ongoing need for car interchange and switch moves over a portion of the line between mileposts 200.36 and 201.46. Therefore, by letter filed on March 31, 2006, NCRA amended its notice to pertain to the line segment from milepost 201.46 to milepost 212.00.

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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 OFA must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee, which is currently set at $1,200, see 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25), but is scheduled to increase to $1,300, effective April 19, 2006. See Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection with Licensing and Related Services—2006 Update, STB Ex Parte No. 542 (Sub-No. 13) (STB served Mar. 20, 2006).

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[FR Doc. E6-5487 Filed 4-12-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-01-P