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The Surface Transportation Board (STB) will host two public hearings this summer, one to review rate regulation of rail transportation of grain, and the second to examine railroad revenue adequacy, the agency announced last week.The rate-regulation hearing will be held June 10; the hearing on revenue will be held July 22-23. Both hearings will be conducted at STB headquarters in Washington, D.C.The hearing on grain rates will explore the issue of making the board's rate case process more accessible to grain shippers, STB officials said in a press release.The hearing on revenue adequacy will explore how the board should regulate rail carriers that are revenue adequate. The board determines annually whether a railroad is earning sufficient revenue to cover its costs and earn a reasonable return to attract capital.Acting STB Chairman Deb Miller said she is pleased that the board was addressing "these long-standing issues.""The board is long overdue in addressing the fact that no grain shipper has filed a rate case in over 30 years," she said in a prepared statement. "And, given how much the financial situation has improved for the railroad industry over the last 30 years, it is also time that the board gave meaningful consideration to what it means for a railroad to be revenue adequate."
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