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Notice of Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council Vacancy

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Surface Transportation Board (Board).


Notice of upcoming vacancy on the Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC) and solicitation of nominations.


The Board hereby gives notice of an upcoming vacancy on RSTAC for a small shipper representative. The Board seeks suggestions for candidates to fill this vacancy.


Nominations are due on April 17, 2019.


Suggestions may be submitted either via the Board's e-filing format or in the traditional paper format. Any person using e-filing should attach a document and otherwise comply with the instructions at the E-Filing link on the Board's website, at Any person submitting a filing in the traditional paper format should send an original and 10 copies to: Surface Transportation Board, Attn: Docket No. EP 526 (Sub-No. 12), 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001 (if sending via express company or private courier, please use zip code 20024). Please note that submissions will be posted to the Board's website under Docket No. EP 526 (Sub-No. 12).

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Katherine Bourdon at (202) 245-0285. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

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The Board, created in 1996 to take over many of the functions previously performed by the Interstate Commerce Commission, exercises broad authority over transportation by rail carriers, including regulation of railroad rates and service (49 U.S.C. 10701-47, 11101-24), the construction, acquisition, operation, and abandonment of rail lines (49 U.S.C. 10901-07), as well as railroad line sales, consolidations, mergers, and common control arrangements (49 U.S.C. 10902, 11323-27).

The ICC Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA), enacted on December 29, 1995, established RSTAC to advise the Board's Chairman, the Secretary of Transportation, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives with respect to rail transportation policy issues RSTAC considers significant. RSTAC focuses on issues of importance to small shippers and small railroads, including car supply, rates, competition, and procedures for addressing claims. ICCTA instructs RSTAC to endeavor to develop private-sector mechanisms to prevent, or identify and address, obstacles to the most effective and efficient transportation system practicable. The members of RSTAC also prepare an annual report concerning RSTAC's activities. RSTAC is not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

RSTAC's 15 appointed members consist of representatives of small and large shippers, and small and large railroads. In addition, members of the Board and the Secretary of Transportation serve as ex officio members. Of the 15 appointed members, nine are voting members and are appointed from senior executive officers of organizations engaged in the railroad and rail shipping industries. At least four of the voting members must be representatives of small shippers as determined by the Chairman, and at least four of the voting members must be representatives of Class II or III railroads. The remaining six members to be appointed—three representing Class I railroads and three representing large shipper organizations—serve in a nonvoting, advisory capacity, but may participate in RSTAC deliberations.

Meetings of RSTAC are required by statute to be held at least semi-annually. Start Printed Page 9859In recent years, RSTAC has met four times a year. Meetings are generally held at the Board's headquarters in Washington, DC, although some meetings are held in other locations.

The members of RSTAC receive no compensation for their services and are required to provide for the expenses incidental to their service, including travel expenses, as the Board cannot provide for these expenses. RSTAC may solicit and use private funding for its activities, again subject to certain restrictions in ICCTA. Currently, RSTAC members have elected to submit annual dues to pay for RSTAC expenses.

RSTAC members must be citizens of the United States and represent as broadly as practicable the various segments of the railroad and rail shipper industries. They may not be full-time employees of the United States. According to revised guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget, it is permissible for federally registered lobbyists to serve on advisory committees, such as RSTAC, as long as they do so in a representative capacity, rather than an individual capacity. See Revised Guidance on Appointment of Lobbyists to Fed. Advisory Comms., Bds., & Comm'ns., 79 FR 47,482 (Aug. 13, 2014). Members of RSTAC are appointed to serve in a representative capacity.

Each RSTAC member is appointed by the Chairman for a term of three years. A member may serve after the expiration of his or her term until a successor has taken office. No member will be eligible to serve in excess of two consecutive terms.

Due to the upcoming expiration of a small shipper representative's second term, a vacancy will exist on RSTAC. The new small shipper representative will serve for three years and may be eligible to serve a second three-year term following the end of their first term.

Suggestions for candidates to fill the vacancy should be submitted in letter form, identifying the name of the candidate, providing a summary of why the candidate is qualified to serve on RSTAC, and containing a representation that the candidate is willing to serve as an RSTAC member effective immediately upon appointment. RSTAC candidate suggestions should be filed with the Board by April 17, 2019. Members selected to serve on RSTAC are chosen at the discretion of the Board Chairman. Please note that submissions will be posted on the Board's website under Docket No. EP 526 (Sub-No. 12) and can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at or (202) 245-0238.

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 1325.

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Decided: March 13, 2019.

By the Board, Allison Davis, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings.

Brendetta Jones,

Clearance Clerk.

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[FR Doc. 2019-05019 Filed 3-15-19; 8:45 am]