STB PROPOSES 22 NEW SERVICE FEES
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board proposes to establish 22 new fees on services for which no fee currently exists.
The STB has the authority to set fees for its services under the Independent Offices Appropriations Act, and guidelines set by the Office of Management and Budget.
The STB, which oversees the competitive practices of railroads operating in the United States, said it was following through with recommendations by the Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General to identify additional services for which no fee is assessed and establish fees for those services.
These proposed new fees include services provided prior to starting a proceeding, such as a request for the STB clarification or a request for the waiver of certain requirements before an actual filing is made, or services performed while a proceeding is pending.
For two of the proposed fees covering the “adjudication of discovery requests,” the STB proposes a “fee-shifting” approach whereby a party against which the agency ultimately rules on a discovery request must pay the fee. The STB also proposes to set the fee for a railroad rate-complaint case filed by a small shipper at a “below-cost level” of $150 and to raise some existing below-cost level fees by a “small amount.”
In addition, the agency proposes to allow use of its billing-accounting system to collect fees for documents filed for recording liens, “thus relieving filers and the Board of burdens associated with the processing of numerous individual fees.”
The STB said a list of the proposed fees would be published in the Federal Register the week of Sept. 2.