Attorney Leonard M. Singer,
Boston, MA (617) 737-7670 (www.LeonardMSinger.com)
49 CFR §1105.8. Historic Reports.
(a) Filing. An applicant proposing an action identified in Sec. 1105.6 (a) or (b), or an action in Sec. 1105.6(c) that will result in the lease, transfer, or sale of a railroad's line, sites or structures, must submit (with its application, petition or notice) the Historic Report described in paragraph (d) of this section, unless excepted under paragraph (b) of this section. This report should be combined with the Environmental Report where one is required. The purpose of the Historic Report is to provide the Board with sufficient information to conduct the consultation process required by the National Historic Preservation Act.
(b) Exceptions. The following proposals do not require an historic report:
(1) A sale, lease or transfer of a rail line for the purpose of continued rail operations where further STB approval is required to abandon any service and there are no plans to dispose of or alter properties subject to STB jurisdiction that are 50 years old or older.
(2) A sale, lease, or transfer of property between corporate affiliates where there will be no significant change in operations.
(3) Trackage rights, common use of rail terminals, common control through stock ownership or similar action, which will not substantially change the level of maintenance of railroad property.
(4) A rulemaking, policy statement, petition for declaratory order, petition for waiver of procedural requirements, or proceeding involving transportation rates or classifications.
(c) Distribution. The applicant must send the Historic Report to the appropriate State Historic Preservation Officer(s), preferably at least 60 days in advance of filing the application, petition, or notice, but not later than 20 days prior to filing with the Board.
(d) Content. The Historic Report should contain the information required by Sec. 1105.7(e)(1) and the following additional historic information:
(1) A U.S.G.S. topographic map (or an alternate map drawn to scale and sufficiently detailed to show buildings and other structures in the vicinity of the proposed action) showing the location of the proposed action, and the locations and approximate dimensions of railroad structures that are 50 years old or older and are part of the proposed action;
(2) A written description of the right-of-way (including approximate widths, to the extent known), and the topography and urban and/or rural characteristics of the surrounding area;
(3) Good quality photographs (actual photographic prints, not photocopies) of railroad structures on the property that are 50 years old or older and of the immediately surrounding area;
(4) The date(s) of construction of the structure(s), and the date(s) and extent of any major alterations, to the extent such information is known;
(5) A brief narrative history of carrier operations in the area, and an explanation of what, if any, changes are contemplated as a result of the proposed action;
(6) A brief summary of documents in the carrier's possession, such as engineering drawings, that might be useful in documenting a structure that is found to be historic;
(7) An opinion (based on readily available information in the railroad's possession) as to whether the site and/or structures meet the criteria for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (36 CFR 60.4), and whether there is a likelihood of archeological resources or any other previously unknown historic properties in the project area, and the basis for these opinions (including any consultations with the State Historic Preservation Office, local historical societies or universities);
(8) A description (based on readily available information in the railroad's possession) of any known prior subsurface ground disturbance or fill, environmental conditions (naturally occurring or manmade) that might affect the archeological recovery of resources (such as swampy conditions or the presence of toxic wastes), and the surrounding terrain.
(9) Within 30 days of receipt of the historic report, the State Historic Preservation Officer may request the following additional information regarding specified nonrailroad owned properties or groups of properties immediately adjacent to the railroad right-of-way: photographs of specified properties that can be readily seen from the railroad right-of-way (or other public rights-of-way adjacent to the property) and a written description of any previously discovered archeological sites, identifying the location and type of the site (i.e., prehistoric or native American).
(e) Any of these requirements may be waived or modified when the information is not necessary to determine the presence of historic properties and the effect of the proposed action on them.
(f) Historic preservation conditions imposed by the Board in rail abandonment cases generally will not extend beyond the 330-day statutory time period in 49 U.S.C. 10904 for abandonment proceedings.