|SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT|
|THE ATHENS LINE, LLC - DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE EXEMPTION - IN OCONEE AND CLARKE COUNTIES, GA.|
|Notice Of Exemption|
|Director Of Proceedings|
|PROVIDED NOTICE THAT THE ATHENS LINE, LLC FILED A NOTICE OF EXEMPTION TO DISCONTINUE SERVICE OVER AN APPROXIMATELY 13.8-MILE RAIL LINE FROM BISHOP, GA., TO ATHENS, GA.|
| 13 KB|
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|Full Text of Decision|
46956 SERVICE DATE – APRIL 25, 2019
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
[Docket No. AB 1274X]
The Athens Line, LLC—Discontinuance of Service Exemption—in Oconee and Clarke Counties, Ga.
The Athens Line, LLC (Athens Line), has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. pt. 1152 subpart F—Exempt Abandonments and Discontinuances of Service to discontinue service over an approximately 13.8-mile rail line from milepost F‑91.5 (at Bishop, Ga.) to milepost 105.3 (in Athens, Ga.) (the Line). The Line traverses U.S. Postal Service Zip Codes 30601, 30602, 30605, 30606, 30677, and 30621.
Athens Line has certified that: (1) no local traffic has moved over the Line for at least two years; (2) no overhead traffic has moved over the Line for at least two years; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the Line (or a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the Line either is pending before the Surface Transportation Board (Board) or any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of the complainant within the two-year period; and (4) 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 discontinuance of service 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) to subsidize continued rail service has been received, this exemption will be effective on May 25, 2019, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues must be filed by May 3, 2019, and formal expressions of intent to file an OFA to subsidize continued rail service under 49 C.F.R. § 1152.27(c)(2) must be filed by May 6, 2019. Petitions for reconsideration must be filed by May 15, 2019, with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20423-0001.
A copy of any petition filed with Board should be sent to Athens Line’s representative, Richard H. Streeter, Law Office of Richard H. Streeter, 5255 Partridge Lane, N.W., Washington, DC 20016.
If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.
Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov.
Decided: April 19, 2019.
By the Board, Allison C. Davis, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings.
 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).
 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).
 Because this is a discontinuance proceeding and not an abandonment, trail use/rail banking and public use conditions are not appropriate. Because there will be an environmental review during abandonment, this discontinuance does not require environmental review.