SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
AB_330_4_X

Case Title:  
OTTER TAIL VALLEY RAILROAD COMPANY, INC.--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN OTTER TAIL COUNTY, MINN.

Decision Type:  
Notice Of Exemption

Deciding Body:  
Director Of Proceedings

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
PROVIDED NOTICE THAT OTTER TAIL VALLEY RAILROAD COMPANY, INC. FILED A NOTICE OF EXEMPTION TO ABANDON A 0.822-MILE LINE OF RAILROAD IN OTTER TAIL COUNTY, MINN.

    Decision Attachments

12 KB

19 KB

Approximate download time at 28.8 kb: 29 Seconds

Note:
If you do not have Acrobat Reader, or if you have problems reading our files with your current version of Acrobat Reader, the latest version of Acrobat Reader is available free at www.adobe.com.

    Full Text of Decision

40929

41105 SERVICE DATE – OCTOBER 8, 2010

DO

FR-4915-01-P

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board

[Docket No. AB 330 (Sub-No. 4X)]

Otter Tail Valley Railroad Company, Inc.–Abandonment Exemption–in Otter Tail County, Minn.

Otter Tail Valley Railroad Company, Inc. (OTVR) filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. pt. 1152 subpart F–Exempt Abandonments to abandon a 0.822-mile line of railroad between milepost 48.422 near Fergus Falls, and milepost 47.60 near Hoot Lake, in Otter Tail County, Minn.[1] The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 56537.

OTVR has certified that: (1) no local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) any overhead traffic on the line can 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 C.F.R.  1105.7(c) (environmental report), 49 C.F.R.  1105.11 (transmittal letter), 49 C.F.R.  1105.12 (newspaper publication), and 49 C.F.R.  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 Railroad—Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 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 offer of financial assistance (OFA) has been received, this exemption will be effective on November 10, 2010, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues,[2] formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 C.F.R.  1152.27(c)(2),[3] and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 C.F.R.  1152.29 must be filed by October 18, 2010. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 C.F.R.  1152.28 must be filed by October 28, 2010, with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20423-0001.

A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to OTVR’s representative: Melanie B. Yasbin, Law Offices of Louis E. Gitomer, LLC, 600 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 301, Towson, MD 21204.

If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.

OTVR has filed a combined environmental and historic report that addresses the effects, if any, of the abandonment on the environment and historic resources. OEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by October 15, 2010. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to OEA (Room 1100, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423-0001) or by calling OEA, 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 C.F.R.  1152.29(e)(2), OTVR 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 OTVR’s filing of a notice of consummation by October 8, 2011, 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 website at “WWW.STB.DOT.GOV.”

Decided: October 5, 2010.

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



[1] OTVR states that once abandonment authority has been approved, Otter Tail Power Corporation, one of its largest shippers, has expressed an interest in purchasing a portion of the right-of-way.

[2] The Board will grant a stay if an informed decision on environmental issues (whether raised by a party or by the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) in its independent investigation) cannot be made before the exemption’s effective date. See Exemption of Out-of-Serv. 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.

[3] Each OFA must be accompanied by the filing fee, which is currently set at $1,500. See 49 C.F.R.  1002.2(f)(25).