|SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT|
|SAULT STE. MARIE BRIDGE COMPANY--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN DICKINSON COUNTY, MICH.|
|Director Of Proceedings|
|DECISION GRANTED MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES' REQUEST TO EXTEND THE NOTICE OF INTERIM TRAIL USE OR ABANDONMENT NEGOTIATING PERIOD UNTIL AUGUST 6, 2011.|
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|Full Text of Decision|
41424 SERVICE DATE – FEBRUARY 16, 2011
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
Docket No. AB 506 (Sub-No. 1X)
SAULT STE. MARIE BRIDGE COMPANY—ABANDONMENT
EXEMPTION—IN DICKINSON COUNTY, MICH.
Decided: February 15, 2011
Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Company (SSMB) filed a notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. pt. 1152 subpart F-Exempt Abandonments to abandon a 0.64-mile rail line between mileposts 29.60 and 30.24 in Iron Mountain, Dickinson County, Mich. Notice of the exemption was served and published in the Federal Register on July 22, 2008 (73 Fed. Reg. 42,651). The exemption was scheduled to become effective on August 21, 2008.
By decision and notice of interim trail use or abandonment (NITU) served on August 20, 2008, the proceeding was reopened and the exemption was made subject to interim trail use/rail banking and public use. A 180-day period was authorized to permit public use negotiations and to permit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to negotiate an interim trail use/rail banking agreement with SSMB for the described line. The negotiating period under the NITU was scheduled to expire on February 17, 2009. Also, in the same decision, the Board imposed four environmental conditions requiring SSMB to consult with: (1) the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Remediation and Redevelopment Division, (2) DEQ, Land and Water Management Division (Upper Management District Office), (3) DEQ (Crystal Falls Field Office), and (4) the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, East Lansing Field Office, prior to the onset of salvage activities.
The Board extended the negotiating period several times with the latest period expiring on February 7, 2011. On February 7, 2011, MDNR filed a request to extend the NITU negotiating period for an additional 180 days. MDNR states that the parties are continuing negotiations and expect to complete an agreement within the 180-day period requested. On February 9, 2011, SSMB filed a letter stating that it agrees with the extension request.
here, the carrier has not consummated the abandonment at the end of the
previously imposed negotiating period and is willing to continue trail use
negotiations, the Board retains jurisdiction and the NITU negotiating period
may be extended. Under the circumstances, further extension of
the negotiating period is warranted. See
Birt v. STB, 90 F.3d 580, 588-90 (D.C.
Cir. 1996); Grantwood Vill.
This action will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
It is ordered:
1. MDNR’s request to extend the NITU negotiating period is granted.
2. The negotiating period under the NITU is extended until August 6, 2011.
3. This decision is effective on its date of service.
By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.