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BNSF, power company settle rail-rate differences


On July 16, Otter Tail Power Co. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe resolved all 200 issues contained in the power company's rate complaint during Surface Transportation Board's first technical conference, STB Chairman Roger Nober said in a prepared statement.

"The issues they have resolved between themselves … will save them
time and money in this litigation," he said. "Otter Tail and BNSF have set a high bar for parties in future rate cases to come together to resolve issues during technical conferences."

Earlier this year, STB mandated technical conferences as part of a rulemaking entitled "Procedures to Expedite Resolution of Rail Rate Challenges to Be Considered under the Stand-Alone Cost Methodology."

The board now requires a shipper filing a rate case to engage in non-binding mediation prior to filing a formal complaint. A mediator is assigned to work with all parties to try to reach a settlement within a specified time frame. If the parties fail to reach a settlement, the shipper then can file a formal rate complaint with STB.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/17/2003