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The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has proposed to update its rules on ex parte communications in informal rulemaking proceedings, the agency announced last week.
The board has proposed allowing such communications, subject to disclosure requirements, and clarifying when and how people may communicate with the board about other pending proceedings, according to an STB press release.
In two recent rulemaking proceedings, the board waived its rules on ex parte communications to allow individual board members or staff to participate in one-on-one meetings subject to disclosure requirements. The board found those meetings useful and that it can benefit from "direct and candid discussions with stakeholders," STB officials said.
Other federal agencies now have policies that allow direct interaction with stakeholders on regulatory issues.
In the past, the STB has, for the most part, not allowed such communications.