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Grain shippers continue protest of STB’s proposed rate complaint rules

Grain shippers continue protest of STB’s proposed rate complaint rules

U.S. grain shipper groups have continued their protest against the Surface Transportation Board’s proposed rules for handling shipper rate complaints against railroads.

   The National Corn Growers Association told the STB in comments this week that the proposed rules would “make an already untenable situation worse.”

   Nearly 40 grain groups, covering soybean, wheat, barley, sorghum, oilseed and rice, trumpeted similar comments to the U.S. Transportation Department agency. In rebuttal testimony to the STB, these groups said the proposed rules “would slam the door shut against most, if not all, small rate challenges.”

   They added that the STB grossly underestimated its costs and time estimates for the new procedures.

   The STB’s proposed rule has been under industry attack since July. Many industry groups said the new rules would cost shippers millions of dollars in legal fees and other costs, making it too expensive to file a complaint with the agency.

   Since then, the grain groups have asked the STB for time to provide additional evidence in support of their complaint at a Jan. 31 hearing.

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