[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 178 (Friday, September 13, 2013)]
[Pages 56769-56770]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22272]



Surface Transportation Board

[Docket No. FD 35762]

South Carolina Division of Public Railways, d/b/a Palmetto 
Railways--Intra-Corporate Family Transaction Exemption--The Port 
Utilities Commission of Charleston, S.C., Port Terminal Railroad of 
South Carolina, and East Cooper and Berkeley Railroad Company

    South Carolina Division of Public Railways, d/b/a Palmetto Railways 
(SCPR), a Class III rail carrier, has filed a verified notice of 
exemption under 49

[[Page 56770]]

CFR 1180.2(d)(3) for an intra-corporate family transaction.
    According to SCPR, it owns the rail trackage and other physical 
assets of Class III rail carriers The Port Utilities Commission of 
Charleston, S.C. (PUCC), Port Terminal Railroad of South Carolina 
(PTR), and East Cooper and Berkeley Railroad Company (ECB), and it 
employs the workers on those railroads. Applicant explains that 
although PUCC, PTR, and ECB do not exist as separate, formal corporate 
or governmental entities but rather as the equivalent of divisions of 
SCPR, they have historically been treated as separate regulated 

    \1\ See Public-Convenience Application of Port Utilities Comm'n 
of Charleston, S.C., 90 I.C.C. 743 (1924) (certificate issued to 
PUCC to acquire and operate certain railroad terminal facilities in 
Charleston, S.C.); Port Terminal R.R. of S.C. Operation, 295 I.C.C. 
819 (not printed in full, Aug. 6, 1956) (PTR obtained authority in 
its own name to operate trackage owned by the South Carolina State 
Ports Authority in North Charleston); The E. Cooper & Berkeley 
R.R.--Constr. & Operation--Line of R.R. Located in Berkeley Cnty., 
S.C., FD 28100 (ICC served July 15, 1977) (ECB obtained authority in 
its own name to construct and operate an approximately 15-mile rail 
line in an area north of Charleston); South Carolina Rys. Comm'n v. 
Seaboard Coast Line R.R., 365 I.C.C. 274 (1981) (PUCC and PTR 
described as terminal switching carriers); East Cooper & Berkeley 
R.R.--Construction & Operation Exemption--In Berkeley Cnty., S.C., 
FD 32704 (ICC served Dec. 13, 1995) (ECB granted an exemption to 
construct and operate a 1.7-mile single track rail line in South 
Carolina); and Port Terminal R.R.--Operation Exemption--Rail Line of 
the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Auth., FD 35211 (STB 
served Feb. 19, 2009) (PTR granted an exemption to operate a rail 
line on the former Charleston Naval Base).

    SCPR proposes to: (1) Eliminate PUCC, PTR, and ECB as separate rail 
carriers, which have been operating as Applicant's divisions; and (2) 
consolidate their distinct common carrier authorities into Applicant, 
which will operate and market all of the rail lines under the name 
``Palmetto Railways.'' SCPR states that the proposed transaction will 
clarify ambiguities regarding the regulatory status of PUCC, PTR, and 
    This exemption will become effective on September 29, 2013. SCPR 
states that it intends to consummate the proposed transaction on 
October 1, 2013, but may not do so prior to the September 29, 2013 
effective date of the exemption.
    Applicant states that the purpose of the proposed transaction is to 
clarify the regulatory status of SCPR's rail operations and simplify 
various administrative and marketing functions.
    This is a transaction within a corporate family of the type 
exempted from prior review and approval under 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(3). SCPR 
states that the transaction will not result in adverse changes in 
service levels, significant operational changes, or any change in the 
competitive balance with carriers outside the SCPR corporate family.
    Under 49 U.S.C. 10502(g), the Board may not use its exemption 
authority to relieve a rail carrier of its statutory obligation to 
protect the interests of its employees. Section 11326(c), however, does 
not provide for labor protection for transactions under Sec. Sec.  
11324 and 11325 that involve only Class III rail carriers. Accordingly, 
the Board may not impose labor protective conditions here, because all 
of the carriers involved are Class III rail carriers.
    If the notice contains false or misleading information, the 
exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 
U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to 
revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. 
Petitions for stay must be filed no later than September 20, 2013 (at 
least seven days before the exemption becomes effective).
    An original and 10 copies of all pleadings, referring to Docket No. 
FD 35762, must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E 
Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. In addition, one copy of each 
pleading must be served on Thomas J. Litwiler, Fletcher & Sippel LLC, 
29 North Wacker Drive, Suite 920, Chicago, IL 60606.
    Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at 

    Decided: September 10, 2013.

    By the Board,
Rachel D. Campbell,
Director, Office of Proceedings.
Jeffrey Herzig,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2013-22272 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]