Posts Tagged ‘STB rule making’

STB Task Force Favors Rate Review Changes

May 1, 2019

A task force of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board has issued a report that recommends changes to the board’s rate review methodologies and policies.

In a news release, the STB said the task forced favored updating and improving methodologies to bring them in line with current transportation issues and trends.

Recommendations of the task force included:

• Offering proposals the STB could adopt to reduce the cost and complexity of small rate disputes.

• Calling for legislation that would permit the STB to require arbitration of small rate disputes.

• Simplifying the existing stand-alone cost test.

• Proposing a new rate methodology that considers the cost structure of the defendant carrier instead of a hypothetical stand-alone carrier.

• Defining long-term revenue adequacy and three structural remedies based on the following: a rate-increase constraint; reversing the board’s long-standing ‘bottleneck’ decisions; and restoring certain simplifications in the existing simplified SAC process.

• Increasing the accessibility of the three-benchmark comparison approach.

• Seeking simplification of the market dominance determination.

The STB said it will seek public views on the report.

AAR Wants Cost-Benefit Analysis in STB Rulmaking

March 17, 2019

The Association of American Railroads has asked the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to use a cost-benefit analysis procedure whenever it is contemplating making rule changes.

The trade group for Class 1 railroads said that this should “include the “most current and reliable data possible.”

In particular AAR wants the STB to consider a cost-benefit analysis when evaluating the effects of new regulations.

In a news release, the AAR said that current law does not require government regulatory agencies to do a cost-benefit analysis.

However, the trade cross said the STB “would have access to better information and could have substantially greater confidence in critical rulemaking decisions if cost-benefit analyses were performed.”

AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Jefferies said that incorporating a cost-benefit analysis would support the board’s goals, which include facilitating a fluid and reliable rail network.

“By adopting the process improvements sought in our petition, we believe the STB would be better positioned to meet its statutory mandate and bring its practices more in line with the spirit of past executive orders, which the board has largely acknowledged to date,” he said in a statement.

STB Wants to Modify Its Rules

October 2, 2017

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board said last week it is initiating a rules making process designed to modify its longstanding rules on ex parte communications during informal rule-making proceedings.

Such communication has been prohibited in the past.

In its notice, the STB said it is looking to allow ex parte communications, subject to disclosure requirements, and “to make other clarifications as to when and how interested persons may communicate with the Board about other pending proceedings.”

The notice said the STB has waived the rules pertaining to ex parte communications in two recent cases in order to allow individual board members or staff to participate in one-on-one meetings, subject to public disclosure requirements.

The board said it found these meetings useful and has recognized that significant benefits flow from direct and candid discussions with stakeholders.

In a news release, the STB said that more generally, many federal agencies now have regulations and policies facilitating direct interaction with stakeholders on regulatory matters.