Posts Tagged ‘STB hearings’

STB Sets Hearings on Reciprocal Switching

December 29, 2021

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board will hold public hearings on March 15-16 on proposed reciprocal switching regulations.

The hearings will be held in Washington at STB headquarters and streamed live online on the agency’s website.

The proposed regulations were first announced in July 2016 and would require railroads to establish switching arrangements by competing companies for certain shippers.

Those competing companies do not physically reach a shipper(s) and would be required to pay the host railroad a switching fee.

The proposed regulations have already received extensive comments from shippers, railroads and others but the STB said in a news release that “there have been significant changes in and affecting the freight rail industry” and therefore hearings are being held.

Those wishing to address the Board must notify it by Jan. 27, 2022. Written comments should be submitted by Feb. 14, 2022.

More information about the hearings can be found at https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/DCMS_External_PROD/1640705404954/50995.pdf

STB to Hold Conference on Policy Proposal

December 5, 2020

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board plans to conduct a virtual conference on Dec. 18 to address a new approach for considering class exemption and revocation issues.

In a news release, the STB said its proposed approach would “evaluate market conditions using a variety of metrics related to or indicative of rail transportation competition.”

That would include developing a snapshot of the commodities handled by rail, identifying changes in market conditions, and considering certain potential influences from alternative transportation modes that could affect rail shipping markets.

The proposal was developed by the agency’s Office of Economics following a public comment on since dropped rule proposal that would have affected such commodities as stone, cement, coke, and iron and steel products.

The STB has been collecting public comment on its latest proposal the approach since September.

STB noted that its approach has limitations and would not “necessarily provide a final conclusive answer on whether the commodity exemptions at issue should be revoked, or whether additional commodity exemptions should be adopted.”

Nor is the agency seeking “to answer the ultimate qualitative question of whether a commodity’s regulation is necessary to carry out rail transportation policy.

STB Proposes New Rate Review Rules

September 14, 2019

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board this week has proposed a new set of rules that would govern rate review procedures.

The proposed rules would establish a new rate review option for smaller cases, the final offer rate review, which would use procedural limitations to contain the costs and complexities of a rate case.

The board also has proposed a streamlined market dominance process that could be used in any rate review proceeding.

In a news release, the STB said these changes are designed to make the procedures “more accessible, efficient, and transparent, including for small customers.”

Public comments on the proposed rule changes are due by Nov. 12, and replies are due by Jan. 10, 2020.

The rule changes stem from a Rate Reform Task Force that issued recommendations in April.

The task force raised questions about the STB’s revenue adequacy process that will be addressed at a Dec. 12 hearing.

Among other recommendations, the task force suggested the board establish a definition of long-term revenue adequacy and consider providing different remedies for rate cases involving carriers that are long-term revenue adequate.

Railroads will be given the opportunity to testify during that hearing on the position of the Association of American Railroads that revenue adequacy reflects the industry’s financial soundness and stability under the current regulatory scheme and must not be a trigger for new government intervention and rate regulation.