FRCA Supports Progressive STB Reauthorization Act Implementation

FRCA continues to work with the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the U.S. Congress, and aligned freight rail shippers in helping to implement the STB Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-110.

In particular, FRCA is pleased with how key elements of the Act are fostering greater transparency in how the STB operates, including enhancing communications within the agency itself and other Federal agencies, before Congress, and among industry.  As required by the new law, the STB is providing monthly reports to the House and Senate appropriations committees, as well as the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation (Commerce) Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee along with responding to questions or concerns that have been raised by individual Members of Congress. 

Of note, FRCA applauds a March 31, 2016 letter sent from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) to the STB Members discussing the status of various implementation matters.  This letter:

  • Encourages the STB to consider enhancing its future reports on Unfinished Regulatory Proceedings to include additional information on each of the outstanding procedures (reason for initiating the action, any legal deadline, and specific target dates for future actions).
  • Clarifies that the Criteria statutory provision and accompanying report language (Congressional intent) is not a requirement for the STB to use replacement cost methodologies when evaluating revenue adequacy.

Additional information can be found on STB’s website.

FRCA is participating in several rulemakings before the STB to help implement various provisions of P.L. 114-1110 including new requirements for rate case process, arbitration procedures, and STB-initiated investigations.  [See related story on Regulatory Priorities.]

In addition, FRCA members met with General Accountability Office staff on a study that GAO is conducting, again pursuant to P.L. 114-110, of rail transportation contract proposals.