CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT), has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1152 Subpart F—Exempt Abandonments to abandon a 4.2-mile line of railroad between milepost QBU 0.0 (Fitchburg) and milepost QBU 4.2 (Leominster), in Worcester County, MA (the line). The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 01420 and 01453.
CSXT has certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) any overhead traffic can 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 a complainant within the 2-year period; and (4) the requirements at 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 20, 2008, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues, formal expressions of intent to Start Printed Page 70406file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2), and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by December 1, 2008. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by December 10, 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 CSXT's representative: Kathryn R. Barney, CSX Transportation, Inc., 500 Water Street, J-150, Jacksonville, FL 32202.
If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.
CSXT 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 November 25, 2008. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to SEA (Room 1100, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423-0001) or by calling SEA, at (202) 245-0305. [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), CSXT 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 CSXT's filing of a notice of consummation by November 20, 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 www.stb.dot.gov.Start Signature
Decided: November 13, 2008.
By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.
Kulunie L. Cannon,
1. By notice served and published in the Federal Register on May 30, 2002 (67 FR 37911), CSXT and New York Central Lines, LLC (NYC), were previously granted abandonment authority for the line under STB Docket Nos. AB-565 (Sub-No. 10X) and AB-55 (Sub-No. 616X). CSXT states that it is re-filing pursuant to 49 CFR 1152.29(e)(2) because the abandonment authority has lapsed. CSXT is NYC's successor by merger. See CSX Corporation and CSX Transportation, Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company—Control and Operating Leases/Agreements—Conrail Inc. and Consolidated Rail Corporation, STB Finance Docket No. 33388 (Sub-No. 94) (STB served Nov. 7, 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
3. 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).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E8-27418 Filed 11-19-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P