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Notice

Consolidated Rail Corporation-Abandonment Exemption-in Mercer County, NJ

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Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) has filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR part 1152 subpart F—Exempt Abandonments to abandon a portion of a line of railroad known as the Robbinsville Industrial Track, between milepost 32.20± and milepost 37.90± in the cities of Hamilton Township and Washington Township, Mercer County, NJ, a distance of 5.7 miles±. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 08620 and 08520.

Conrail has certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) any overhead traffic that has or could move over the line can 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 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.[1]

As a condition to this exemption, any employee adversely affected by the abandonment shall be protected under Oregon Short Line R. Co.AbandonmentGoshen, 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 August 2, 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 July 13, 2006. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by July 24, 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 Conrail's representative: John K. Enright, 1000 Howard Boulevard, 4th Floor, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054.

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

Conrail 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 July 7, 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. Start Printed Page 37977

Pursuant to the provisions of 49 CFR 1152.29(e)(2), Conrail 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 Conrail's filing of a notice of consummation by July 3, 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: June 23, 2006.

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

Vernon A. Williams,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  On June 19, 2006, C&A Trail Conservancy, filed a request for issuance of a notice of interim trail use (NITU) for the entire line pursuant to section 8(d) of the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. 1247(d), and for imposition of a public use condition. The Board will address C&A's trail use and public use requests and any others that may be filed in a subsequent decision.

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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 filing fee, which currently is set at $1,300. See Regulations Governing Fees for Service Performed in Connection With Licensing and Related Services—2006 Updates, STB Ex Parte No. 542 (Sub-No. 13) (STB served Mar. 20, 2006). See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).

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[FR Doc. E6-10373 Filed 6-30-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-01-P