Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1152 Subpart F―Exempt Abandonments to abandon a 12.31-mile line of railroad between milepost 3.69-N and milepost 16.00-N, in Floyd and Polk Counties, GA. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 30124 and 30161.
NSR has certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) no overhead traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years and overhead traffic, if there were any, could 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 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 OFA has been received, this exemption will be effective on June 4, 2009, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues, formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2), and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by May 15, 2009. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by May 26, 2009, 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 NSR's representative: James R. Paschall, Senior General Attorney, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Three Commercial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510.
If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.
NSR 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 May 8, 2009. 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), NSR 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 NSR's filing of a notice of consummation by May 5, 2010, 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: April 29, 2009.
By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.
1. NSR also seeks exemption from the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10904 (offers of financial assistance (OFA)). The Board will address the merits of this request in a separate decision.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. Each OFA must be accompanied by the filing fee, which currently is set at $1,500. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).Back to Citation
4. NSR states that it is not aware of any restriction on the title to the right-of-way that would affect the transfer of title or the use of property for other than rail purposes but will provide full title information promptly if it receives a proposal to acquire the property for public purposes.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E9-10258 Filed 5-4-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P