STB Adopts 2009 User Fee Update Schedule

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board has adopted its 2009 User Fee Update Schedule setting forth updated fees for each of the types of proceedings that can be filed with the agency.

The changes in the 2009 Update — to become effective June 4 — primarily are designed to offset increased Board expenses, including increased overhead costs. The 2009 Update complies with the Congressional directive that the Board assess fees to cover a portion of its budget.

It also complies with the statutory requirement that the agency conduct a proceeding annually to update its user fee schedule to reflect the cost of the services it provides.

Fee increases in the 2009 Update generally were derived from the formula adopted by the Board (following public notice and comment) in the proceeding entitled Regulations Governing Fees for Services—1987 Update, 4 I.C.C.2d 137 (1987).  The 2009 Update maintains user fees for rate-complaint cases at a level no higher than the filing fee for a federal lawsuit ($350 per complaint filing) pursuant to a Congressional mandate.

In adopting the 2009 Update, the Board reiterated that the regulations provide for the waiver of a fee for any entity demonstrating that payment of such a fee will present a financial hardship.