|SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT|
|MID-MICHIGAN RAILROAD, INC.--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH.|
|Director Of Proceedings|
|DECISION GRANTED THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES' REQUEST TO EXTEND THE NOTICE OF INTERIM TRAIL USE OR ABANDONMENT NEGOTIATING PERIOD IN THIS PROCEEDING UNTIL MAY 9, 2011.|
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|Full Text of Decision|
41237 SERVICE DATE – LATE RELEASE NOVEMBER 23, 2010
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
Docket No. AB 364 (Sub-No. 16X)
RAILROAD, INC.—ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION—IN
Decided: November 23, 2010
Railroad, Inc. (MMRR), filed a notice of exemption, under 49 C.F.R.
pt. 1152 Subpart F—Exempt Abandonments, to abandon a 3.35-mile
line of railroad between milepost 191.40 and milepost 194.75, at the end of the
By decision and notice served on July 12, 2010, the proceeding was reopened to implement interim trail use/rail banking for the remaining 2.85-mile segment of the right-of-way between milepost 191.90 and milepost 194.75. At the request of the parties, the negotiating periods for both segments were extended until November 10, 2010.
On November 9, 2010, MI DNR filed a request to extend the NITU negotiating periods for both segments for an additional 180 days. MI DNR states that MI DNR and MMRR are continuing negotiations toward an agreement and expect to complete an agreement within 180 days. On the same date, MMRR filed a response, concurring with the extension for an additional 180 days.
Where, as here,
the carrier has not consummated the abandonment at the end of the previously
imposed negotiating periods and is willing to continue trail use negotiations,
the Board retains jurisdiction, and the NITU negotiating periods may be
extended. An extension of the NITU negotiating periods
will promote the establishment of trail use and rail banking consistent with
the Trails Act. Under the circumstances,
further extension of the negotiating periods is warranted. See Birt v. STB,
90 F.3d 580, 588-90 (D.C. Cir. 1996); Grantwood
This decision will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
It is ordered:
1. MI DNR’s request to extend the NITU negotiating periods is granted.
2. The NITU negotiating periods are extended to May 9, 2011.
3. This decision is effective on its service date.
By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.
 In the May 2009 decision, the exemption was made subject to 2 consultation conditions regarding the salvage of the line. In a letter filed on July 23, 2009, MMRR advised the Board that it has complied with 1 of the conditions.
 An extension of time to consummate the abandonment also was granted until July 13, 2010.
 See Rail Aban.—Use of Rights-of-Way as Trails—Supplemental Trails Act Procedures, 4 I.C.C.2d 152, 157-58 (1987).
 MMRR notes that, pursuant to 49 C.F.R. § 1152.29(e)(2), a NITU is a regulatory barrier to consummation of the abandonment. Because an impediment to consummation exists, such as a trail use condition, MMRR does not need a separate extension of the deadline for filing a notice of consummation. MMRR’s notice of consummation will be due 60 days after the satisfaction, expiration, or removal of the regulatory barrier.