On Aug. 25, the U.S. Department of Agriculture filed reply comments with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in support of the rail rate challenge procedures proposed to provide accessible and effective protection for grain shippers against unreasonable rail rates.
The USDA agreed with grain shippers that the STB’s current challenge procedures are unworkable for grain shippers and new methods that address cost, timeliness, and predictability are justified. The USDA are promoting private-sector mediation and arbitration as viable options. In addition, the USDA offered support for two other methods proposed by parties representing grain shippers. These other two methods similarly offer improvements over the current procedures by addressing cost and predictability, the USDA said.