|SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT|
|CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN MCMINN COUNTY, TENN.|
|Director Of Proceedings|
|DECISION GRANTED A REQUEST TO EXTEND THE NOTICE OF INTERIM TRAIL USE OR ABANDONMENT NEGOTIATING PERIOD UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2, 2011.|
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|Full Text of Decision|
41490 SERVICE DATE – LATE RELEASE MARCH 17, 2011
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
Docket No. AB 55 (Sub-No. 694X)
CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.–ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION–
IN MCMINN COUNTY, TENN.
Decided: March 16, 2011
CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) filed a notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. pt. 1152 subpart F—Exempt Abandonments to abandon a 6.4-mile rail line, known as the Athens Branch, on its Southern Region, Huntington-West Division, KD Subdivision between milepost OKW 327, at Englewood, and milepost OKW 333.4, at Athens, in McMinn County, Tenn. Notice of the filing was served and published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 23,926-27). By decision and notice of interim trail use or abandonment (NITU) served on August 13, 2009 (August 2009 decision), the proceeding was reopened and a 180-day period was authorized for McMinn County (the County), the City of Athens, and the City of Englewood to negotiate an interim trail use/rail banking agreement with CSXT for the right-of-way involved in this proceeding.
On February 28, 2011, the County filed a request for an extension of the negotiating period. By letter filed on March 3, 2011, CSXT concurs with an extension of the negotiating period for 180 days, until September 2, 2011.
Where, as here, the carrier has not consummated the abandonment at the end of the previously imposed negotiating period and has indicated its willingness to continue negotiations by agreeing to an extension, 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. v. Mo. Pac. R.R., 95 F.3d 654, 659 (8th Cir. 1996). Accordingly, the NITU negotiating period will be extended to September 2, 2011.
This decision will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
It is ordered:
1. The County’s request to extend the NITU negotiating period is granted.
2. The negotiating period under the NITU is extended until September 2, 2011.
3. This decision is effective on its service date.
By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.
 The August 2009 decision also made the exemption subject to salvage conditions and a public use condition. The public use condition, which is limited by statute to 180 days, expired on March 11, 2010, and may not be extended.