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Notice

Boston and Maine Corporation-Abandonment Exemption-in Middlesex County, MA; Springfield Terminal Railway Company-Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Middlesex County, MA

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The Boston and Maine Corporation (B&M) and Springfield Terminal Railway Company (ST) (collectively, applicants) have jointly filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1152 Subpart F—Exempt Abandonments and Discontinuances of Service for B&M to abandon, and for ST to discontinue service over, a 1.27-mile portion of the Lowell Industrial Track between station 1304+77, and station 1372+00 in Lowell, Middlesex County, MA. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 01851 and 01852.

Applicants have certified that: (1) No traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) there is no overhead traffic on the line; (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 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 of 49 CFR 1105.7 (environmental report), 49 CFR 1105.8 (historic report), 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 December 13, 2008, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues,[1] formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2),[2] and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by November 24, 2008. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by December 3, 2008, with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.

A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to applicants' representative: Michael Q. Geary, Boston & Maine Corporation, Springfield Terminal Railway Company, 1700 Iron Horse Park, North Billerica, MA 01862.

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

Applicants have filed environmental and historic reports which address the effects, if any, of the abandonment on the environment and historic resources. SEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by November 18, 2008. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to SEA (Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423-0001) or by calling SEA, at (202) 245-0303. [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), B&M 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 B&M's filing of a notice of consummation by November 13, 2009, 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: November 4, 2008.

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

Jeff Herzig,

Clearance Clerk.

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Footnotes

1.  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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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. E8-26799 Filed 11-12-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-01-P