RAILROADS: The Board Solicits Additional Information on Cost-Benefit Analysis Petition for Rulemaking

In November 2019, the Board issued a decision seeking additional information on integrating cost-benefit analysis into its rulemaking process.  Ass’n of Am. R.R.s—Petition for Rulemaking, Ex Parte 752 (STB served Nov. 4, 2019).  This decision was issued in response to a petition filed by AAR in March to institute a rulemaking to adopt rules that “would require a cost-benefit analysis in certain Board rulemaking proceedings and would set certain data requirements.”  Id., slip op. at 1.  Specifically, the Board sought information on the following four topics:

 

  1. Methods: The Board requested information on “specific methods—not just general criteria and processes in best practice guides . . .—that would assist in the qualitative or quantitative analysis of a final rule by the Board.”  Id., slip op. at 2.

 

  1. Data: The Board sought “suggestions regarding specific data that the Board collects or could collect to assist with cost-benefit analysis.”  Id.

 

  1. Application: The Board asked for a “detailed description of how cost-benefit analysis would apply to a hypothetical rulemaking, using the methods and data sources identified in response to items 1 and 2 above.”  Id., slip op. at 3.

 

  1. Threshold: The Board requested information on “the threshold for determining the rulemaking proceedings to which any cost-benefit analysis procedures should apply.”  Id.

 

In a decision served on December 10, 2019, the Board extended the comment deadlines.  Comments providing the information requested are now due on January 31, 2020.  Replies are due on March 20, 2020.

 

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