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E-M:/ rail line abandonment - Kent and Montcalm Counties

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

[Federal Register: December 17, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 241)]
[Page 71483-71484]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


Surface Transportation Board
[STB Docket No. AB-364 (Sub-No. 11X)]

Mid-Michigan Railroad, Inc.--Abandonment Exemption--In Kent and
Montcalm Counties, MI

    On November 27, 2007, Mid-Michigan Railroad, Inc. (MMRR or
petitioner), filed with the Surface Transportation Board a petition
under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C.
10903 to permit the abandonment of a 24.70-mile rail line located
between milepost 103.20 in Lowell and milepost 78.50 in Greenville at
the end of the line, in Kent and Montcalm Counties, MI. The line
traverses U.S. Postal Service Zip Codes 48809, 48838, 48887, and 49331, and

[[Page 71484]]

includes the stations of Lowell, Belding, and Greenville.
    In addition to an exemption from 49 U.S.C. 10903, MMRR seeks an
exemption from 49 U.S.C. 10904 [offer of financial assistance (OFA)
procedures]. In support, MMRR states that it has entered a Memorandum
of Understanding with the West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition
(WMTGC) to sell the line to WMTGC for the public purpose of converting
it to interim trail use/rail banking. This request will be addressed in
the final decision.
    MMRR states that, based on information in its possession, the line
does not contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in
MMRR'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 R. Co.--Abandonment--Goshen,
360 I.C.C. 91 (1979).
    Petitioner believes that the proposed abandonment may generate
comments and requests that the Board adopt a procedural schedule in
this proceeding to permit MMRR to file rebuttal to any reply received.
Rather than address the request at this time, however, the Board will
instead allow petitioner to raise the matter again, if it wishes, once
comments and replies in response to the petition have actually been
filed. Comments and replies to the petition for exemption will be due
January 11, 2008. Once comments or replies have been filed, MMRR may
request leave to file rebuttal.
    By issuance of this notice, the Board is instituting an exemption
proceeding pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502(b). A final decision will be
issued by March 14, 2008, unless the Board grants the requested
exemption from the OFA process.
    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,
unless the Board grants the requested exemption from the OFA process.
Each OFA must be accompanied by a $1,300 filing fee. See 49 CFR
    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 January 7, 2008. Each trail
use request must be accompanied by a $200 filing fee. See 49 CFR
    All filings in response to this notice must refer to STB Docket No.
AB-364 (Sub-No. 11X) and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation
Board, 395 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) Louis E.
Gitomer, Law Offices of Louis E. Gitomer, 600 Baltimore Avenue, Suite
301, Towson, MD 21204.
    Persons seeking further information concerning abandonment
procedures may contact the Board's Office of Public Services at (202)
245-0230 or refer to the full abandonment or discontinuance regulations
at 49 CFR part 1152. Questions concerning environmental issues may be
directed to the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) 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 SEA 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 SEA 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 will generally be within
30 days of its service.
    Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at <A HREF="http://www.stb.dot.gov";>

    Decided: December 11, 2007.

    By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.
Vernon A. Williams,
[FR Doc. E7-24311 Filed 12-14-07; 8:45 am]


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