NOTE: The hearing announced below has been rescheduled for February 24, 2011. See STB's November 19, 2010 decision in Review of Commodity, Boxcar, and TOFC/COFC Exemptions, Ex Parte No. 704, available at:
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Contact: Dennis Watson or Eric Weiss
FRS 1 (800) 877-8339
STB TO HOLD HEARING ON REVISITING COMMODITY, BOXCAR AND INTERMODAL REGULATORY EXEMPTIONS
The Surface Transportation Board announced a public hearing for Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010, to review existing exemptions from railroad-transportation regulations for certain commodities, boxcar and intermodal freight.
The STB's predecessor agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission, removed the federal protections of reasonable service and rates from certain classes of freight in the 1980s, including certain commodities, boxcar movements and intermodal services.
"At the time, most of those shippers supported the exemptions," said STB Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III. "But some of those same shippers now say that these exemptions have outlived their usefulness. This hearing is a good way to explore whether those exemptions still make good policy sense."
The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the hearing room of the Board's headquarters located at 395 E Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. Parties wishing to speak at the hearing should file with the Board a notice of intent to participate, including the topic and amount of time requested, by Nov. 30, 2010. Written testimony will also be accepted until Nov. 30.
The Board's notice announcing the Dec. 9 hearing was issued to the public today in the proceeding entitled Review of Commodity, Boxcar, and TOFC/COFC Exemptions, Docket No. EP 704. That notice will be published in the Federal Register and is available for viewing and downloading on the agency's website, www.stb.dot.gov. The website will also have live video of the public hearing.