Ken James — Bloomberg News
The Surface Transportation Board has proposed to revoke its previous ruling to deregulate rates for shipping several commodities, citing changing markets for those shipments.
The commodities include crushed or broken stone, hydraulic cement and coke, iron and steel products and scrap metal.
STB set a comment date of May 27 for the proceeding and invited commenters to offer other commodities that could be excluded from regulation.
Since the rail industry was deregulated in 1980, regulators have removed a majority of rail freight from regulation, such as intermodal and boxcar shipments. Freight such as coal, grain and chemicals remains under the agency’s purview.
“The purpose of this proposal is to restore shippers’ access to the board’s regulatory oversight and processes — in particular, shippers of those commodities where evidence indicates that the competitive landscape has changed significantly enough to indicate that renewed regulation is needed,” according to the agency’s announcement.