12/04/2019 (Wednesday) [PDF Version]
Contact: Janie Sheng (202) 245-0221
FedRelay 1 (800) 877-8339
The Surface Transportation Board announced today that it is adopting a final rule amending its regulations related to the National Trails System Act (Trails Act).
The final rule amends current regulations and will: (1) provide that the initial term for a certificate of interim trail use or abandonment (CITU) or notice of interim trail use or abandonment (NITU) will be one year (instead of the current 180 days); (2) permit up to three one-year extensions of the initial period if the trail sponsor and the railroad agree; and (3) permit additional one-year extensions if the trail sponsor and the railroad agree and extraordinary circumstances are shown.
Adoption of this rule limiting extensions of trail use negotiating periods is intended to strike an appropriate balance between the interests of landowners, trail proponents, railroads, and the agency. The final rule will lead to more efficiency, clarity, and finality in the Trails Act process, reducing burdens on parties, conserving Board resources, and providing greater overall certainty, while also providing a reasonable amount of time (at least four years) for railroads and prospective trail sponsors to negotiate voluntary agreements for interim trail use/railbanking.
The final rule will become effective on February 2, 2020, and apply as follows:
The Board’s final rule in Limiting Extensions of Trail Use Negotiation Periods, EP 749 (Sub-No. 1), and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy—Petition for Rulemaking, EP 753, may be viewed and downloaded at the Board’s website here.