The Surface Transportation Board announced today that it is seeking nominations for candidates to fill several vacancies on the Board’s Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC). The Board is soliciting suggestions for the following vacancies: two small shipper representatives, one large shipper representative, two small railroad representatives, and two large railroad representatives.
RSTAC focuses on issues of importance to small shippers and small railroads, including railcar supply, rates, competition, and procedures for addressing claims. Though not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, RSTAC is directed by the ICC Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA) to develop private-sector mechanisms to identify, address, and prevent obstacles to effective and efficient interstate transportation. RSTAC also prepares an annual report concerning its activities and recommendations on regulatory or legislative relief it considers appropriate.
RSTAC was established upon ICCTA’s December 29, 1995 enactment to advise the Board’s Chairman, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on railroad-transportation policy issues the RSTAC considers significant.
There are nine voting members of RSTAC who are senior executive officers of organizations engaged in the railroad and rail-shipping industries. At least four of the voting members must be representatives of small shippers, as determined by the Board’s Chairman, and at least four voting members must be representatives of Class II or III railroads. The remaining six appointed members—three representing Class I railroads and three representing large shipper organizations—serve in a nonvoting, advisory capacity, but are entitled to participate in RSTAC deliberations.
RSTAC is required by statute to meet at least semi-annually. In recent years, RSTAC has met four times a year. Meetings are generally held at the Board’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., although some meetings are held in other locations.
RSTAC members receive no compensation for their services and are required to provide for the expenses incidental to their service, including travel expenses, as the Board cannot provide for these expenses. RSTAC may solicit and use private funding for its activities, again subject to certain restrictions in ICCTA. RSTAC members currently have elected to submit annual dues to pay for RSTAC expenses.
Nominations may be submitted either via the Board’s e-filing format or in traditional hardcopy format according to instructions and additional RSTAC information provided in the STB’s Notice of Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council Vacancy, EP 526 (Sub-No. 10), issued today.
For further information, contact Katherine Bourdon, Esq. at 202-245-0285. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1 800-877-8339.