WASHINGTON, DC, US — The Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced April 22 that it proposes to take five steps to amend its emergency service regulations.

The steps include procedures for parties seeking an STB order directing an incumbent carrier to take action to remedy a service emergency, indicate that the STB may act on its own initiative to direct emergency service, modify the informational requirement for parties in emergency service proceedings, shorten the filing deadlines in emergency service proceedings and establish a timeframe for STB decisions and establish an accelerated process for certain acute service emergencies.

The proposed changes were based on feedback received at STB hearings as far back as October 2017 and subsequent informal meetings with interested parties in 2018.

“More recently, the board announced that it would hold a hearing on April 26 and 27, 2022, on recent rail service problems impacting the network and the recovery efforts involving several Class I carriers,” the STB said. Numerous industries, including many in agriculture and food manufacturing, have been in contact with the STB in recent weeks concerning rail service issues.  

Comments on the proposed rules are due by May 23 and reply comments by June 6.