01/28/2022 (Friday) [PDF Version]
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The Surface Transportation Board today issued a decision denying a request to extend the procedural schedule in the docket regarding the Board’s proposed reciprocal switching regulations. All procedural dates remain unchanged, including those for the public hearing beginning on March 15, 2022.
This decision, and the scheduled public hearing, concerns the proposed reciprocal switching regulations in Reciprocal Switching, Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 1) et al. (NPRM). The NPRM introduced new regulations under which the Board would exercise its statutory authority to require rail carriers to establish switching arrangements in certain circumstances.
On January 10, 2022, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) filed a motion to extend the procedural schedule. Specifically, AAR asked the Board for a 75-day continuance of the schedule, including a corresponding continuance of the public hearing or, alternatively, to extend the deadline for written submissions to March 7, 2022. As part of its alternative request, AAR also asked that the Board permit submission of supplemental written comments “within a reasonable time” following the hearing.
Today’s decision denies AAR’s request for an extension of the procedural schedule. All procedural dates remain unchanged. The Board finds that the amount of notice and time for preparation provided was sufficient and that AAR’s alternative request for extension of the comment deadline would hinder the ability of the Board and the hearing participants to review parties’ submissions before the hearing. The Board will determine after the hearing whether to allow supplemental written comments.