SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
AB_6_474_X

Case Title:  
BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, MINN.

Decision Type:  
Notice Of Exemption

Deciding Body:  
Director Of Proceedings

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
PROVIDED NOTICE THAT BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY FILED A NOTICE OF EXEMPTION TO ABANDON A 0.51-MILE LINE OF RAILROAD BETWEEN 15.59 AND MILEPOST 16.10 IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, MINN.

    Decision Attachments

59 KB
19 KB

Approximate download time at 28.8 kb: 37 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

41737 SERVICE DATE – JULY 14, 2011

DO

FR-4915-01-P

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board

[Docket No. AB 6 (Sub-No. 474X)]

BNSF Railway Company—Abandonment Exemption—in Washington County, Minn.

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. pt. 1152 subpart F–Exempt Abandonments to abandon a 0.51-mile line of railroad between milepost 15.59 and milepost 16.10 in Washington County, Minn.[1] The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 55038.

BNSF has certified that: (1) no local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) no overhead traffic has been handled on the line for at least 2 years; (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. As provided under 49 C.F.R. 1105.11, BNSF has certified that it served its Environmental and Historic Reports as required under 49 C.F.R. 1105.7 and 1105.8. BNSF also has certified that the requirements at 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.

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. Provided no formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance (OFA) has been received, this exemption will be effective on August 13, 2011, 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 July 25, 2011. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 C.F.R.  1152.28 must be filed by August 3, 2011, 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 BNSF’s representative: Courtney Biery Estes, General Attorney, BNSF Railway Company, 2500 Lou Menk Drive, AOB-3, Fort Worth, TX 76131.

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

BNSF has filed environmental and historic reports that address the effects, if any, of the abandonment on the environment and historic resources. OEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by July 19, 2011. 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), BNSF 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 BNSF’s filing of a notice of consummation by July 14, 2012, 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: July 11, 2011.

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



[1] This transaction is related to a concurrently filed notice of exemption in Docket No. AB 882 (Sub-No. 3X), Minnesota Commercial Railway Company―Discontinuance of Service Exemption―in Washington County, Minnesota, in which Minnesota Commercial Railway Company seeks an exemption to discontinue its lease operations over the same 0.51-mile rail line.

[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).