|SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT|
|MONTREAL, MAINE & ATLANTIC RAILWAY, LTD.--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN AROOSTOOK COUNTY, ME.|
|Notice Of Exemption|
|Director Of Proceedings|
|PROVIDED NOTICE THAT MONTREAL, MAINE & ATLANTIC RAILWAY, LTD. FILED A PETITION FOR EXEMPTION TO ABANDON A .4-MILE RAIL LINE IN AROOSTOOK COUNTY, ME.|
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|Full Text of Decision|
41535 SERVICE DATE – APRIL 15, 2011
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Surface Transportation Board
[Docket No. AB 1043 (Sub-No. 2X)]
Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, Ltd.–Abandonment Exemption–in Aroostook County, Me.
On March 28, 2011, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, Ltd. (MMA) filed with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) a petition under 49 U.S.C. § 10502 for exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. § 10903 to abandon a .4-mile rail line extending between milepost V 23.72 at Bridge Street and milepost V 24.12 at Main Street, in Van Buren, Aroostook County, Me. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 04785.
In addition to an exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. § 10903, MMA seeks exemption from 49 U.S.C. § 10904 (offer of financial assistance (OFA) procedures) and 49 U.S.C. § 10905 (public use conditions). MMA also seeks relief from the trail use provisions of the Board’s regulations at 49 C.F.R. § 1152.29. In support, MMA states that, upon receipt of abandonment authority, it plans to sell the .4-mile rail line and its transloading yard to the United States General Services Administration (GSA). In turn, GSA plans to use the property, together with other property that GSA has acquired, to construct a new land port of entry facility for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. MMA also seeks expedited action in this proceeding. These requests will be addressed in the final decision.
The line does not contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in MMA’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 Railroad–Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979).
By issuing this notice, the Board is instituting an exemption proceeding pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 10502(b). A final decision will be issued by July 15, 2011.
Any OFA under 49 C.F.R. § 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 C.F.R. § 1002.2(f)(25).
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 C.F.R. § 1152.28 or for trail use/rail banking under 49 C.F.R. § 1152.29 will be due no later than May 5, 2011. Each trail use request must be accompanied by a $250 filing fee. See 49 C.F.R. § 1002.2(f)(27).
All filings in response to this notice must refer to Docket No. AB 1043 (Sub‑No. 2X), and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) James E. Howard, 1 Thompson Square, Suite 201, Charlestown, MA 02129. Replies to MMA’s petition are due on or before May 5, 2011.
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 C.F.R. pt. 1152. Questions concerning environmental issues may be directed to the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) 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 OEA 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 OEA 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 website at “WWW.STB.DOT.GOV.”
Decided: April 8, 2011.
By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.