Thursday, June 10, 2010

STB sets public hearing in BNSF coal dust case

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The Surface Transportation Board announced Thursday that it has scheduled a public hearing for July 29 on a case that will decide whether a railroad may refuse service to coal shippers who do not follow the railroad's rules on coal dust dispersal.

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The case, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation—Petition for Declaratory Order, Docket No. FD 35305, questions whether BNSF Railway may set rules on coal dust dispersion from trains operating over its lines and refuse to provide rail service to non-compliant shippers. The STB will decide if this is an “unreasonable” practice and whether it violates the railroad’s common carrier obligation.

The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at STB Headquarters, 395 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. It will be open to the public, but only parties of record in the case will be permitted to speak. Parties wishing to participate must file a notice of intent no later than June 18.

A video broadcast of the hearing will be available through the Board's website at www.stb.dot.gov.