Federal Register: August 24, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 163)
DOCID: fr24au10-110 FR Doc 2010-20924
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Surface Transportation Board
Docket ID: [STB Docket No. EP 699]
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice and request for comments.
Assessment of Mediation and Arbitration Procedures
DATES: Comments are due on October 25, 2010.
The Board seeks comments on matters relating to the use of mediation and arbitration as effective means of resolving disputes that are subject to the Board's jurisdiction. Depending upon the Board's assessment of the comments received, the Board may propose revisions to its current rules or propose new rules in order to encourage the use of mediation and arbitration in the resolution of disputes. If so, the proposed changes or new rules would be published and made available for review and comment in a subsequent notice.
Assessments of Mediation and Arbitration Procedures
The Board favors private sector resolutions of disputes as an alternative to its formal processes where possible. To that end, the Board has rules in place that allow for mediation and arbitration of matters subject to its jurisdiction. The Board's mediation rules are set forth at 49 CFR 1109.1, 1109.4, 1111.2, 1111.9, and 1111.10. Its arbitration rules are set forth at 49 CFR 1108, 1109.1, 1109.2, and 1115.8.
The Board seeks input regarding measures it can implement to
encourage greater use of mediation and arbitration procedures,
including changes to the Board's existing rules and establishment of
new rules. The Board also seeks input regarding possible changes to its
rules to permit the use of Boardfacilitated mediation procedures
without the filing of a formal complaint. In addition to being reviewed
by the Board, the RailroadShipper Transportation Advisory Council
(RSTAC) will review the comments and prepare a report to the Board reflecting the input of its members on this issue.\1\
\1\ RSTAC is an advisory board established by Federal law to advise the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Board on issues related to rail freight, with particular attention to issues of importance to small shippers and railroads. By statute, RSTAC members are appointed by the Board's chairman. Representatives of rail customers, Class I railroads, and small railroads sit on RSTAC. The Board's members and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation are RSTAC ex officio, nonvoting members. (49 U.S.C. 726.)
Based upon the comments from interested persons and RSTAC's input, the Board will decide whether to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) at a later date. We will invite comment on the NPRM before issuance of any final rule.
This action will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
It is ordered:
1. Comments as described above are due by October 25, 2010.
2. This decision is effective on its date of service.
Decided: August 18, 2010.
By the Board, Chairman Elliott, Vice Chairman Mulvey, and Commissioner Nottingham.
[FR Doc. 201020924 Filed 82310; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 491501P
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Julia Farr at 202-245-0359. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 18008778339.