The Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) comment period closed Nov. 7 for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) it issued this fall in Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 2), Reciprocal Switching for Inadequate Service.
“Unfortunately, while rail service has improved from its worst levels last year, it remains inadequate and unreliable for many agricultural shippers,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack told the five Surface Transportation Board (STB) members in identical letters dated May 12. “There is more work to be done.” This includes, he wrote, moving forward on open proceedings and reciprocal switching; providing clarity on the railroads’ common carrier obligation; and collecting more first-mile/last-mile (FMLM) service data.
NS on Sept. 28 announced a commitment of $400,000 in grants to 31 food banks located across the states served by the company.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding $100 million in grants through its Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to expand infrastructure for renewable fuels sourced from U.S. agricultural products (biodiesel, ethanol, etc.).
The Petition for Rulemaking that would update the demurrage and accessorial rules governing the railroads’ use and handling of privately owned freight cars “is a step in the right direction,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in comments filed June 30 with the Surface Transportation Board (STB).