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E-M:/ Rail Abandonment - Kent and Ionia Counties

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

[Federal Register: January 7, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 4)]
[Page 1263]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


Surface Transportation Board
[STB Docket No. AB-364 (Sub-No. 12X)]

Mid-Michigan Railroad, Inc.--Abandonment Exemption--in Kent and
Ionia Counties, MI

    On December 18, 2007, Mid-Michigan Railroad, Inc. (MMRR) filed with
the Surface Transportation Board (Board) a petition under 49 U.S.C.
10502 seeking an exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10903 for
the abandonment of a 15.83-mile rail line between milepost 137.83,
southeast of Lowell, and milepost 122.00, east of Prairie Center, the
end of the line, in Kent and Ionia Counties, MI. The line traverses
United States Postal Service Zip Codes 48846, 48881, and 49331 and
includes the stations of Lowell, Saranac, and Ionia.
    MMRR also seeks an exemption from the offer of financial assistance
(OFA) procedures of 49 U.S.C. 10904. In support, MMRR states that it
has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to sell the line to West
Michigan Trails and Greenway Coalition for interim trail use/rail
banking. This request for exemption from the OFA provision will be
addressed in the final decision.
    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 indicates that the proposed abandonment may generate
comments, and it requests that the Board adopt a procedural schedule to
allow it to file rebuttal to any comments received. Instead of
addressing the request at this time, the Board will instead allow
petitioner to raise the matter again, if comments and replies in
response to the petition are actually filed. Comments and replies to
the petition for exemption will be due on January 28, 2008. Once
comments and replies are 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 April 4, 2008.
    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 28, 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. 12X)] and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation
Board, 395 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) Louis E.
Gitomer, 600 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 301, Towson, MD 21204. Replies to
the petition are due on or before January 28, 2008.
    Persons seeking further information concerning the 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 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: January 2, 2008.

    By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.
Vernon A. Williams,
[FR Doc. E8-40 Filed 1-4-08; 8:45 am]


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