(a) Office of Proceedings.
(1) The Director of the Office of Proceedings is delegated the authority to determine (in consultation with involved Offices) whether to waive filing fees set forth at 49 CFR 1002.2(f).
(i) Whether to designate abandonment proceedings for oral hearings on request.
(ii) Whether offers of financial assistance satisfy the statutory standards of 49 U.S.C. 10904(d) for purposes of negotiations or, in exemption proceedings, for purposes of partial revocation and negotiations.
(A) To impose, modify, or remove environmental or historic preservation conditions; and
(iv) In abandonment proceedings, when a request for interim trail use/rail banking is filed under 49 CFR 1152.29, to determine whether the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. 1247(d), is applicable and, where appropriate, to issue Certificates of Interim Trail Use or Abandonment (in application proceedings) or Notices of Interim Trail Use or Abandonment (in exemption proceedings).
(v) In any abandonment proceeding where interim trail use/rail banking is an issue, to make such findings and issue decisions as may be necessary for the orderly administration of the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. 1247(d).
(vi) Whether to institute requested declaratory order proceedings under 5 U.S.C. 554(e).
(vii) To issue decisions, after 60 days' notice by any person discontinuing a subsidy established under 49 U.S.C. 10904 and at the railroad's request:
(A) In application proceedings, immediately issuing decisions authorizing abandonment or discontinuance; and
(B) In exemption proceedings, immediately vacating the decision that postponed the effective date of the exemption.
(B) Whether to grant waivers from specific provisions of 49 CFR part 1151.
(ix) In exemption proceedings subject to environmental or historic preservation reporting requirements, to issue a decision, under 49 CFR 1105.10(g), making a finding of no significant impact where no environmental or historic preservation issues have been raised by any party or identified by the Board's Office of Environmental Analysis.
(x) Whether to issue notices of exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502:
(xii) Whether to issue a notice of exemption under 49 U.S.C. 13541 for a transaction under 49 U.S.C. 14303 within a motor passenger carrier corporate family that does not result in adverse changes in service levels, significant operational changes, or a change in the competitive balance with motor passenger carriers outside the corporate family.
(xiii) Whether to issue rail modified certificates of public convenience and necessity under 49 CFR part 1150, subpart C.
(xiv) Whether to waive the regulations at 49 CFR part 1152, subpart C, on appropriate petition.
(xv) To reject applications, petitions for exemption, and verified notices (filed in class exemption proceedings) for noncompliance with the environmental rules at 49 CFR part 1105.
(xvi) To reject applications by BNSF Railway Company to abandon rail lines in North Dakota exceeding the 350-mile cap of section 402 of Public Law 97-102, 95 Stat. 1465 (1981), as amended by The Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1992, Public Law 102-143, section 343 (Oct. 28, 1991).
(xvii) To authorize parties to a proceeding before the Board, upon mutual request, to participate in mediation with a Board-appointed mediator, for a period of up to 30 days and to extend the mediation period at the mutual request of the parties.
(xviii) To authorize a proceeding to be held in abeyance while mediation procedures are pursued, pursuant to the mutual request of the parties to the matter.
(xix) To order arbitration of program-eligible matters under the Board's regulations at 49 CFR part 1108, or upon the mutual request of parties to a proceeding before the Board.
(b) Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance. The Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance is delegated the authority to:
(1) Reject tariffs and railroad transportation contract summaries filed with the Board that violate applicable statutes, rules, or regulations. Any rejection of a tariff or contract summary may be by letter signed by or for the Director, Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance.
(2) Issue, on written request, informal opinions and interpretations on carrier tariff provisions, which are not binding on the Board.
(3) Grant or withhold special tariff authority granting relief from the provisions of 49 CFR part 1312. Any grant or withholding of such relief may be by letter signed by or for the Director, Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance.
(4) Resolve any disputes that may arise concerning the applicability of motor common carrier rates under 49 U.S.C. 13710(a)(2).
(6) Issue, on written request, informal opinions and interpretations which are not binding on the Board. In issuing informal opinions or interpretations, the Director of the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance shall consult with the Directors of the appropriate Board offices. Such requests must be directed to the Director of the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC.