SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
FD_35387_0

Case Title:  
AG PROCESSING INC A COOPERATIVE--PETITION FOR DECLARATORY ORDER

Decision Type:  
Decision

Deciding Body:  
Director Of Proceedings

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
DECISION GRANTED A MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER IN THIS PROCEEDING.

    Decision Attachments

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    Full Text of Decision

38396

41390 SERVICE DATE – LATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 9, 2011

DO

 

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

 

DECISION

 

Docket No. FD 35387

 

AG PROCESSING INC A COOPERATIVE—PETITION FOR DECLARATORY

ORDER

MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

 

Decided: February 9, 2011

This proceeding concerns the reasonableness of one part of a Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) tariff that addresses rail cars that are loaded in excess of their weight limits. Specifically, the provision in question explains how NSR treats cars that become overloaded because of weather conditions. Ag Processing Inc A Cooperative (Ag Processing) filed a petition for declaratory order challenging the provision on July 20, 2010. Later, it amended its petition to challenge a more recent version of the tariff and to add Bunge North America, Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Louis Dreyfus Corporation, and Perdue Agribusiness, Inc., as petitioners challenging the tariff provision (the challengers, including Ag Processing, are collectively referred to as Ag Parties). Ag Parties asked for time to mediate, and NSR agreed. Although the Board established a 90-day mediation period in a decision served on October 22, 2010, the parties could not settle their dispute during that time period.

 

On January 27, 2011, NSR filed a motion to dismiss the Ag Parties’ petition challenging the tariff provision. With this motion, NSR filed a motion for a protective order[1] and a document listing internal weight tolerances for cars under seal. NSR seeks a protective order under 49 C.F.R. 1104.14(b) to protect the highly confidential and commercially sensitive information contained in this list. NSR explains that the public disclosure of these tolerances would undermine their usefulness and cause injury to NSR. NRS further explains that public disclosure of this information is not necessary for the consideration of this proceeding.

 

In a reply filed on February 2, 2011, the Ag Parties respond that they do not object to the motion for a protective order. The Ag Parties do ask, however, that the Board make their reply to the motion to dismiss due 20 days after they receive an unredacted version of the confidential material. Ag Parties acknowledge that receipt would be subject to the protective order. NSR states in its February 4, 2011 reply that it does not oppose the Ag Parties’ extension request.

 

Good cause exists to grant the motion for protective order, which conforms to the Board’s rules at 49 C.F.R.  1104.14, governing protective orders to maintain the confidentiality of materials submitted to the Board. Unrestricted disclosure of confidential, proprietary or commercially sensitive information and data could cause injury to NSR. Issuance of the Protective Order will facilitate the exchange of the NSR document and will establish appropriate procedures for it and any other proprietary and confidential information that might be submitted into the record. Accordingly, the motion for a protective order will be granted, and the Protective Order and Undertakings as modified in the Appendix to this decision will be adopted. Furthermore, the Ag Parties’ extension request is reasonable and will be granted.

This action will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.

 

It is ordered:

 

1. The motion for a protective order is granted, and the Protective Order and Undertakings in the Appendix to this decision are adopted.

 

2. The document submitted in Docket No. FD 35387 will be kept under seal by the Board and not placed in the public docket or otherwise disclosed to the public, unless the attached Undertakings are executed and the terms of the Protective Order are followed, or unless otherwise ordered by the Board.

 

3. The Ag Parties’ extension request is granted, and its reply to NSR’s motion to dismiss is due 20 days after the receipt of the unredacted document.

 

4. This decision is effective on the service date.

 

By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.


APPENDIX

 

PROTECTIVE ORDER

 

 

1. For purposes of this Protective Order:

 

(a) “Confidential Documents” means documents and other tangible materials containing or reflecting Confidential Information.

 

(b) “Confidential Information” means traffic data (including but not limited to waybills, abstracts, study movement sheets, and any documents or computer tapes containing data derived from waybills, abstracts, study movement sheets, or other data bases, and cost work papers); the identification of shippers and receivers in conjunction with shipper-specific or other traffic data; the confidential terms of contracts with shippers or carriers; confidential financial and cost data; divisions of rates, trackage rights compensation levels and other compensation between carriers; and other confidential or proprietary business or personal information.

 

(c) “Designated Material” means any documents designated or stamped as “CONFIDENTIAL” or “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL” in accordance with paragraph 4 or 5 of this Protective Order and any Confidential Information contained in such materials.

 

(d) “Proceedings” means those before the Surface Transportation Board (Board) concerning the transaction in Docket No. FD 35387, and any related proceedings before the Board, and any judicial review proceedings arising from Docket No. FD 35387 or from any related proceedings before the Board.

 

2. Personnel of Ag Processing Inc A Cooperative (Ag Processing), Bunge North America, Inc. (Bunge), Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), Louis Dreyfus Corporation, (LDC) and Perdue Agribusiness, Inc (Perdue) (collectively, Petitioners), the Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) and their affiliates, including outside consultants and attorneys for any of them (representatives), may exchange Confidential Information for the purpose of participating in the proceedings, but not for any other business, commercial, or other competitive purpose, until the conclusion of these proceedings.

 

3. To the extent that any meetings, conferences, exchanges of data, or other cooperative efforts between representatives of Petitioners, NSR or their affiliates are held and carried out for purposes of these Proceedings, such meetings, conferences, exchanges of data and other cooperative efforts are deemed essential for the conduct and disposition of such Proceedings and will not be deemed a violation of 49 U.S.C. 11323 or 11904, or any other relevant provision of the ICC Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA).

 

4. If any party to these Proceedings determines that any part of a document it submits, discovery request it propounds, discovery response it produces, transcript of a deposition or hearing in which it participates, or pleading or other paper to be submitted, filed, or served in these Proceedings contains Confidential Information or consists of Confidential Documents, then that party may designate and stamp such Confidential Information and Confidential Documents as “CONFIDENTIAL.” Any information or documents designated or stamped as “CONFIDENTIAL” shall be handled as provided for hereinafter, except that no prohibition in any subsequent paragraph is applicable to any exchange of information pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Protective Order.

 

5. If any party to these Proceedings determines that any part of a document it submits, discovery request it propounds, discovery response it produces, or a transcript of a deposition or hearing in which it participates, or pleading or other paper to be submitted, filed, or served in these Proceedings contains shipper-specific rate or cost data; division of rates, trackage rights compensation levels, other compensation between carriers; or other competitively sensitive or propriety information, then that party may designate and stamp such Confidential Information as “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL.” Any information or documents so designated or stamped shall be handled as provided hereinafter, except that no prohibition in any subsequent paragraph is applicable to an exchange of information pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Protective Order.

 

6. Information and documents designated or stamped as “CONFIDENTIAL” may not be disclosed in any way, directly or indirectly, or to any person or entity except to an employee, counsel, consultant, or agent of a party to these Proceedings, or an employee of such counsel, consultant, or agent, who, before receiving access to such information or documents, has been given and has read a copy of this Protective Order and has agreed to be bound by its terms by signing a confidentiality undertaking substantially in the form set forth at Exhibit A to this Protective Order.

 

7. Information and documents designated or stamped as “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL” may not be disclosed in any way, directly or indirectly, to any employee of a party to these Proceedings, or to any other person or entity except to an outside counsel or outside consultant to a party to these Proceedings, or to an employee of such outside counsel or outside consultant, who, before receiving access to such information or documents, has been given and has read a copy of this Protective Order and has agreed to be bound by its terms by signing a confidentiality undertaking substantially in the form set forth at Exhibit B to this Protective Order.

 

8. All parties must file simultaneously a public version of any Highly Confidential or Confidential submission filed with the Board whether the submission is designated a Highly Confidential Version or Confidential Version. When filing a Highly Confidential Version, the filing party does not need to file a Confidential Version with the Board, but must make available (simultaneously with the party’s submission to the Board of its Highly Confidential Version) a Confidential Version reviewable by any other party’s in-house counsel. The Confidential Version may be served on other parties in electronic format only. In lieu of preparing a Confidential Version, the filing party may (simultaneously with the party’s submission to the Board of its Highly Confidential Version) make available to outside counsel for any other party a list of all “highly confidential” information that must be redacted from its Highly Confidential Version prior to review by in-house personnel, and outside counsel for any other party must then redact that material from the Highly Confidential Version before permitting any clients to review the submission.

 

9. Any party to these Proceedings may challenge the designation by any other party of information or documents as “CONFIDENTIAL” or as “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL” by filing a motion with the Board or with an administrative law judge or other officer to whom authority has been lawfully delegated by the Board to adjudicate such challenges.

 

10. Designated Material may not be used for any purposes, including without limitation any business, commercial or competitive purposes, other than the preparation and presentation of evidence and argument in Docket No. FD 35387, any related proceedings before the Board, and/or any judicial review proceedings in connection with Docket No. FD 35387 and/or with any related proceedings.

 

11. Any party who receives Designated Material in discovery shall destroy such materials and any notes or documents reflecting such materials (other than file copies of pleadings or other documents filed with the Board and retained by outside counsel for a party to these Proceedings) at the earlier of: (1) such time as the party receiving the materials withdraws from these Proceedings; or (2) the completion of these Proceedings, including any petitions for reconsideration, appeals or remands.

 

12. No party may include Designated Material in any pleading, brief, discovery request or response, or other document submitted to the Board, unless the pleading or other document is submitted under seal, in a package clearly marked on the outside as “Confidential Materials Subject to Protective Order.” See 49 C.F.R. 1104.14. All pleadings and other documents so submitted shall be kept confidential by the Board and shall not be placed in the public docket in these Proceedings except by order of the Board or of an administrative law judge or other officer in the exercise of authority lawfully delegated by the Board.

 

13. No party may include Designated Material in any pleading, brief, discovery request or response, or other document submitted to any forum other than this Board in these Proceedings unless: (1) the pleading or other document is submitted under seal in accordance with a protective order that requires the pleading or other document to be kept confidential by that tribunal and not be placed in the public docket in the proceeding; or (2) the pleading or other document is submitted in a sealed package clearly marked, “Confidential Materials Subject to Request for Protective Order,” and is accompanied by a motion to that tribunal requesting issuance of a protective order that would require the pleading or other document be kept confidential and not be placed in the public docket in the proceeding, and requesting that, if the motion for protective order is not issued by that tribunal, the pleading or other document be returned to the filing party.

 

14. No party may present or otherwise use any Designated Material at a Board hearing in these Proceedings, unless that party has previously submitted, under seal, all proposed exhibits and other documents containing or reflecting such Designated Material to the Board, to an administrative law judge or to another officer to whom relevant authority has been lawfully delegated by the Board, and has accompanied such submission with a written request that the Board, administrative law judge or other officer: (a) restrict attendance at the hearing during any discussion of such Designated Material; and (b) restrict access to any portion of the record or briefs reflecting discussion of such Designated Material in accordance with this Protective Order.

 

15. If any party intends to use any Designated Material in the course of any deposition in these Proceedings, that party shall so advise counsel for the party producing the Designated Material, counsel for the deponent, and all other counsel attending the deposition. Attendance at any portion of the deposition at which any Designated Material is used or discussed shall be restricted to persons who may review that material under the terms of this Protective Order. All portions of deposition transcripts or exhibits that consist of, refer to, or otherwise disclose Designated Material shall be filed under seal and be otherwise handled as provided in paragraph 12 of this Protective Order.

 

16. To the extent that materials reflecting Confidential Information are produced by a party in these Proceedings, and are held and/or used by the receiving person in compliance with paragraphs 1, 2, 6 or 7 above, such production, disclosure, holding, and use of the materials and of the data that the materials contain are deemed essential for the disposition of this and any related proceedings and will not be deemed a violation of 49 U.S.C. 11323 or 11904, or of any other relevant provision of the ICC Termination Act of 1995.

 

17. All parties must comply with all of the provisions of this Protective Order unless the Board or an administrative law judge or other officer exercising authority lawfully delegated by the Board determines that good cause has been shown warranting suspension of any of the provisions herein.

 

18. Nothing in this Protective Order restricts the right of any party to disclose voluntarily any Confidential Information originated by that party, or to disclose voluntarily any Confidential Documents originated by that party, if such Confidential Information or Confidential Documents do not contain or reflect any Confidential Information originated by any other party.

 


Exhibit A

 

UNDERTAKING – CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL

 

 

I, , have read the Protective Order served on February 9, 2011, governing the production and use of Confidential Information and Confidential Documents concerning Docket No. FD 35387, understand the same, and agree to be bound by its terms. I agree not to use or to permit the use of any Confidential Information or Confidential Documents obtained pursuant to that Protective Order, or to use or to permit the use of any methodologies or techniques disclosed or information learned as a result of receiving such data or information, for any purpose other than the preparation and presentation of evidence and argument in Docket No. FD 35387, any related proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board (Board), and/or any judicial review proceedings in connection with Docket No. FD 35387 and/or with any related proceedings. I further agree not to disclose any Confidential Information, Confidential Documents, methodologies, techniques, or data obtained pursuant to the Protective Order except to persons who are also bound by the terms of the Order and who have executed Undertakings in the form hereof, and that, at the conclusion of this proceeding (including any proceeding on administrative review, judicial review, or remand), I will promptly destroy any documents containing or reflecting materials designated or stamped as “CONFIDENTIAL,” other than file copies, kept by outside counsel, of pleadings and other documents filed with the Board.

 

I understand and agree that money damages would not be a sufficient remedy for breach of this Undertaking and that any party producing Confidential Information or Confidential Documents shall be entitled to specific performance and injunctive and/or other equitable relief as a remedy for any such breach, and I further agree to waive any requirement for the securing or posting of any bond in connection with such remedy. Such remedy shall not be deemed to be the exclusive remedy for breach of this Undertaking but shall be in addition to all remedies available at law or equity.

 

 

Signed: _________________________

 

Affiliation: ______________________

 

Dated: __________________________


Exhibit B

 

UNDERTAKING – HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL

 

I, _____________________________, am outside [counselconsultant] for __________________________, for whom I am acting in this proceeding. I have read the Protective Order served on February 9, 2011, governing the production and use of Highly Confidential Information concerning Docket No. FD 35387, understand the same, and agree to be bound by its terms. I agree not to use or to permit the use of any Highly Confidential Information obtained pursuant to that Protective Order, or to use or to permit the use of any methodologies or techniques disclosed or information learned as a result of receiving such data or information, for any purpose other than the preparation and presentation of evidence and argument in Docket No. FD 35387, any related proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board (Board), or any judicial review proceedings in connection with Docket No. FD 35387 and/or with any related proceedings. I further agree not to disclose any Highly Confidential Information, methodologies, techniques, or data obtained pursuant to the Protective Order except to persons who are also bound by the terms of the Order and who have executed Highly Confidential Undertakings in the form hereof.

 

I also understand and agree, as a condition precedent to my receiving, reviewing, or using copies of any information or documents designated or stamped as “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL,” that I will take all necessary steps to ensure that said information or documents be kept on a confidential basis by any outside counsel or outside consultants working with me; that under no circumstances will I permit access to said materials or information by employees of my client or its subsidiaries, affiliates, or owners; and that, at the conclusion of this proceeding (including any proceeding on administrative review, judicial review, or remand), I will promptly destroy any documents containing or reflecting information or documents designated or stamped as “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL,” other than file copies kept by outside counsel of pleadings and other documents filed with the Board.

 

I understand and agree that money damages would not be a sufficient remedy for breach of this Undertaking and that any party producing Confidential Information or Confidential Documents shall be entitled to specific performance and injunctive and/or other equitable relief as a remedy for any such breach, and I further agree to waive any requirement for the securing or posting of any bond in connection with such remedy. Such remedy shall not be deemed to be the exclusive remedy for breach of this Undertaking but shall be in addition to all remedies available at law or equity.

 

Signed: ___________________________________

OUTSIDE [COUNSEL] [CONSULTANT]

 

Dated: ___________________________________

 



[1] A proposed Protective Order and Undertakings were included with the motion.