22.April – Washington DC – The STB has set forth a series of Decisions regarding the procedural schedule for the Pan Am Railways acquisition by CSXT and related transactions.
On 1.April, the applicants filed a petition to establish a revised procedural schedule as directed by the Board in Decision No. 1. Under 49 U.S.C. § 11325(c), the Board must conclude the evidentiary proceedings for a significant transaction no later than 180 days after publication of notice in the Federal Register that the Board has accepted the application. On 1.April, the Applicants proposed a schedule in which the record would close 127 days after Federal Register publication. Although § 11325(c) allows the Board to set a shorter schedule, the Board finds that a schedule based on the full 180 days allowed by the statute is more appropriate.
As the Board noted in Decision No. 1, in a “significant” transaction proceeding, applicants are required to submit more detailed information regarding competitive effects, operating plans, and other issues than in a “minor” transaction proceeding. Also, unlike in a “minor” transaction proceeding, parties in a “significant” transaction proceeding are permitted to file responsive applications, including inconsistent applications.
Given these procedural features of “significant” transactions, the Board finds that the schedule proposed by Applicants would be too compressed.
The STB notes, “Indeed, the Applicants’ proposed 127-day schedule here is only 22 days longer than the 105-day schedule the Applicants proposed when they sought to classify this transaction as “minor.” Moreover, the Applicants provide no explanation why such an expedited schedule is needed. Therefore, the Board will propose the following procedural schedule.”
- April.2021 – Application due.
- May.2021 – Board notice of acceptance of application to be published in the Federal Register.
- June.2021 – Notices of intent to participate in this proceeding due.
- June.2021 – Descriptions of anticipated responsive, including inconsistent, applications due. Petitions for waiver or clarification with respect to such applications due. Comments, protests, requests for conditions, and any other evidence and argument in opposition to the Application or Related Transactions due. This includes any comments from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
- July.2021 – Responsive, including inconsistent, applications due.
- September.2021 – Responses to comments, protests, requests for conditions, and other opposition due, including to DOJ and USDOT filings. Responses to responsive, including inconsistent, applications due. Rebuttal in support of the Application and Related Transactions due.
- October.2021 – Rebuttal in support of responsive, including inconsistent, applications due.
- November.2021 – Final briefs due. (Close of the record.)
- February.2022 – Service date of final decision.
- March.2022 – Effective date of final decision.