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Notice

East Penn Railroad, LLC-Abandonment Exemption-in Berks and Montgomery Counties, PA

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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On July 31, 2008, East Penn Railroad, LLC (ESPN) filed with the Board a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10903 to abandon an 8.6-mile line of railroad extending from milepost 0.0 at Pottstown to milepost 8.6 at Boyertown, in Berks and Montgomery Counties, PA. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 19464 and 19512.[1]

The line does not contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in ESPN'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 issuance of this notice, the Board is instituting an exemption proceeding pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502(b). A final decision will be issued by November 18, 2008.

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 $1,500 filing fee. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).[2]

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 September 9, 2008. Each trail use request must be accompanied by a $200 filing fee. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(27).

All filings in response to this notice must refer to STB Docket No. AB-1020X, and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) Karl Morell, Of Counsel, Ball Janik LLP, 1455 F Street, NW., Suite 225, Washington, DC 20005. Replies to the petition are due on or before September 9, 2008.

Persons seeking further information concerning abandonment procedures may contact the Board's Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at (202) 245-0238 or refer to the full abandonment or 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) 245-0305. [Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.]

An environmental assessment (EA) (or 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 of 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.

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Decided: August 11, 2008.

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

Anne K. Quinlan,

Acting Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  ESPN's then new owner, Regional Rail, LLC, a noncarrier, discovered that one of ESPN's predecessors, Penn Eastern Rail Lines, Inc., had consummated the acquisition of the subject line in July 2003, but inadvertently failed to obtain prior Board approval for that acquisition. ESPN filed for and obtained such authority. See East Penn Railroad, LLC—Acquisition Exemption—Berks County, PA, STB Finance Docket No. 35089 (STB served Nov. 1, 2007).

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2.  Effective July 18, 2008, the filing fee for an OFA increased to $1,500. See Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection with Licensing and Related Services—2008 Update, STB Ex Parte No. 542 (Sub-No. 15) (STB served June 18, 2008).

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[FR Doc. E8-19035 Filed 8-19-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-01-P