SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
AB_1265_0_X

Case Title:  
LEHIGH VALLEY RAIL MANAGEMENT, LLC--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN CAMBRIA COUNTY, PA.

Decision Type:  
Notice Of Exemption

Deciding Body:  
Director Of Proceedings

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
PROVIDED NOTICE THAT LEHIGH VALLY RAIL MANAGEMENT, LLC FILED A NOTICE OF EXEMPTION TO ABANDON A LINE OF RAILROAD EXTENDING BETWEEN MUNSTER TOWNSHIP AND EBENSBURG BOROUGH, AND IN CAMBRIA TOWNSHIP, IN CAMBRIA COUNTY, PA.

    Decision Attachments

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    Full Text of Decision

46894 SERVICE DATE – MARCH 28, 2019

DO

FR-4915-01-P

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

[Docket No. AB 1265X]

Lehigh Valley Rail Management, LLC—Abandonment Exemption—in Cambria County, Pa.

Lehigh Valley Rail Management, LLC (LVRM) has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. pt. 1152 subpart F—Exempt Abandonments to abandon a line of railroad extending between milepost RJC 6.4 in Munster Township and milepost RJC 10.45189 in Ebensburg Borough, and between milepost 15.355 (RJC 10.45189) and milepost 16.934 in Cambria Township, in Cambria County, Pa. (the Line). The Line traverses U.S. Postal Service Zip Code 15931.

LVRM has certified that: (1) no local traffic has moved over the Line for at least two years; (2) because the Line is not a through line (it is stub-ended), there is no overhead traffic on the Line; (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 any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of a complainant within the two-year period; and (4) the requirements at 49 C.F.R. 1105.7 and 1105.8 (environment and historic report), 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)[1] has been received, this exemption will be effective on April 27, 2019, 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 interim trail use/rail banking requests under 49 C.F.R.  1152.29 must be filed by April 8, 2019. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 C.F.R.  1152.28 must be filed by April 17, 2019, 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 LVRM’s representative, Eric M. Hocky, Clark Hill, PLC, One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

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

LVRM 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 April 2, 2019. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to OEA, 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 Relay Service at (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), LVRM 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 LVRM’s filing of a notice of consummation by March 28, 2020, and there are no legal or regulatory barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically expire.

Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov.

Decided: March 25, 2019.

By the Board, Allison C. Davis, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings.



[1] The Board modified its OFA procedures effective July 29, 2017. Among other things, the OFA process now requires potential offerors, in their formal expression of intent, to make a preliminary financial responsibility showing based on a calculation using information contained in the carrier’s filing and publicly available information. See Offers of Financial Assistance, EP 729 (STB served June 29, 2017); 82 Fed. Reg. 30,997 (July 5, 2017).

[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 currently is set at $1,800. See 49 C.F.R. 1002.2(f)(25).