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STB's mediation process helps settle CSXT/DuPont rate dispute


Yesterday, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced it granted E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co.’s request to dismiss a rate complaint against CSX Transportation issued in November 2008.

The shipper and railroad recently settled the case via mediation — the first settlement aided by STB mediation in a case filed under the board's stand-alone cost (SAC) rate-complaint procedures, according to the STB. The SAC test is used in complex rate cases that involve significant sums of money, the board said.

DuPont challenged the reasonableness of CSXT’s rates to transport 38 different commodities between 99 origin and destination pairs. The shipper had asked the STB to determine the reasonableness of the rates using a SAC test adopted in certain coal rate guidelines.

“This mediation demonstrates that active board staff involvement at the early stages of the case process can help narrow or, as here, completely resolve disputed issues,” said acting STB Chairman Francis Mulvey in a prepared statement. “The agency will continue to promote mediation as an alternative to formal and more expensive dispute resolution processes."

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More News from 5/12/2009