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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Elliott: STB reauthorization implementation 'well underway'

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) will post monthly status reports of its implementation of the STB Reauthorization Act of 2015, board Chairman Daniel Elliott III announced yesterday.

Enacted Dec. 18, 2015, the new law establishes STB as an independent federal agency. Prior to the act, the STB was aligned administratively with the U.S. Department of Transportation, although the board's decision-making had been independent since it was established in 1996.

The Reauthorization Act expands the STB's membership from three to five board members, and allows a majority of the members to meet in private to discuss agency matters, subject to certain rules and procedures.

Elliott also announced that he intends to have the first of such board meetings in U.S. Rail Service Issues — Performance Data Reporting, Docket No. EP 724 (Sub-No. 4), which proposes to establish new regulations requiring the reporting of certain railroad service performance metrics on a permanent basis, according to an STB news release.

"There is no doubt that freight rail transportation will benefit from the thoughtful provisions of this law," said Elliott. "Behind this reauthorization is a message of transparency and increased efficiency. That is what I will deliver to the public."

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