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STB takes first step toward reforming small rate case guidelines


Yesterday, the Surface Transportation Board announced it issued a decision setting a procedural schedule for BP Amoco Chemical Co. vs. Norfolk Southern Railway — the board’s first small non-coal rate case.

BP Amoco is challenging the reasonableness of NS’ rate to move paraxylene from Decatur, Ala., to Kingsport, Tenn.

The STB ruled the parties must conduct 30 days of mediation and — per the parties’ request —delay the procedural schedule’s start one month; adopt a procedural schedule to resolve the case 200 days after the schedule becomes effective and certain process tools to expedite the proceeding; and use a standard computer program to calculate variable costs.

"Since I became chairman, I have made reforming our small rate case guidelines one of my top priorities,” said STB Chairman Roger Nober in a prepared statement. “This case will give the board the opportunity to implement that work in this case rather than in a rulemaking, which will save the parties and the agency months of administrative process.”

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More News from 6/7/2005