BNSF Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Los Angeles County, CA.

On May 31, 2011, BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) filed with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10903 to abandon its rail freight service easement over 4.85 miles of rail line owned by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) extending between milepost 119.35, just east of the San Gabriel River, in Irwindale, and milepost 124.20, just east of the Santa Anita Blvd. grade crossing, in Arcadia, in Los Angeles County, CA (the Line). The Line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 91006, 91007, 91010, 91016, 91702, and 91706. There are no rail stations on the Line.

In addition to an exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10903, NSR seeks exemption from 49 U.S.C. 10904 (offer of financial assistance (OFA) procedures) and 49 U.S.C. 10905 (public use conditions). In support, BNSF contends that an exemption from these provisions is necessary to permit LACMTA to extend light rail passenger service over the Line. These requests will be addressed in the final decision.

BNSF states that, based on information in its possession, the Line does contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in BNSF's possession will be made available promptly to those requesting it.

The interest of railroad employees will be protected by the conditions set forth in Oregon Short Line Railroad—Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho,360 I.C.C. 91 (1979).

By issuing this notice, the Board is instituting an exemption proceeding pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502(b). A final decision will be issued by September 16, 2011.

Any OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(b)(2) will be due no later than 10 days after service of a decision granting the petition for exemption. Each OFA must be accompanied by a $1,500 filing fee. See49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).

All interested persons should be aware that, following abandonment of rail service and salvage of the Line, the Line may be suitable for other public use, including interim trail use. Any request for a public use condition under 49 CFR 1152.28 or for trail use/rail banking under 49 CFR 1152.29 will be due no later than July 11, 2011. Each trail use request must be accompanied by a $250 filing fee. See49 CFR 1002.2(f)(27).

All filings in response to this notice must refer to Docket No. AB 6 (Sub-No. 477X), and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) Karl Morell, Of Counsel, Ball Janik LLP, 655 Fifteenth Street, NW., Suite 225, Washington, DC 20005. Replies to the BNSF petition are due on or before July 11, 2011.

Persons seeking further information concerning abandonment procedures may contact the Board's Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at (202) 245-0238 or refer to the full abandonment or discontinuance regulations at 49 CFR pt. 1152. Questions concerning environmental issues may be directed to the Board's Office of EnvironmentalAnalysis (OEA) at (202) 245-0305. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

An environmental assessment (EA) (or environmental impact statement (EIS), if necessary) prepared by OEA will be served upon all parties of record and upon any agencies or other persons who commented during its preparation. Other interested persons may contact OEA to obtain a copy of the EA (or EIS). EAs in these abandonment proceedings normally will be made available within 60 days of the filing of the petition. The deadline for submission of comments on the EA generally will be within 30 days of its service.

Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at “http://www.stb.dot.gov.”

Decided: June 14, 2011.

By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.

Jeffrey Herzig,

Clearance Clerk.

References

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