[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 14 (Friday, January 21, 2022)]
[Page 3377]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-01154]



[Docket No. FD 36572]

Watco Holdings, Inc.--Continuance in Control Exemption--Verdigris 
Southern Railroad, L.L.C.

    Watco Holdings, Inc. (Watco), a noncarrier, has filed a verified 
notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(2) to continue in control of 
Verdigris Southern Railroad, L.L.C. (VESO), a noncarrier controlled by 
Watco, upon VESO's becoming a Class III rail carrier.
    This transaction is related to a verified notice of exemption filed 
concurrently in Verdigris Southern Railroad, L.L.C.--Lease and 
Operation Exemption--Track in Rogers County, Okla., Docket No. FD 
36571, in which VESO seeks to lease from the City of Tulsa-Rogers 
County Port Authority (the Port), and to commence common carrier 
operations over, approximately 13,883 feet of track owned by the Port 
in Rogers County, Okla.
    The transaction may be consummated on or after February 6, 2022, 
the effective date of the exemption (30 days after the verified notice 
was filed).
    According to the verified notice of exemption, Watco currently 
controls indirectly 40 Class III railroads and one Class II railroad, 
collectively operating in 28 states. For a complete list of these rail 
carriers and the states in which they operate, see the Appendix to 
Watco's January 7, 2022 verified notice of exemption, available at 
    Watco represents that: (1) The rail line to be operated by VESO 
does not connect with the rail lines of any of the rail carriers 
currently controlled by Watco; (2) this transaction is not part of a 
series of anticipated transactions that would connect VESO with any 
railroad in the Watco corporate family; and (3) the transaction does 
not involve a Class I rail carrier. The proposed transaction is 
therefore exempt from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 
11323 pursuant to 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(2). Under 49 U.S.C. 10502(g), the 
Board may not use its exemption authority to relieve a rail carrier of 
its statutory obligation to protect the interests of its employees. 
Because the transaction involves the control of one Class II and one or 
more Class III rail carriers, the transaction is subject to the labor 
protection requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11326(b) and Wisconsin Central 
Ltd.--Acquisition Exemption--Lines of Union Pacific Railroad, 2 S.T.B. 
218 (1997).
    If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, 
the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption 
under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a 
petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the 
exemption. Petitions for stay must be filed no later than January 28, 
2022 (at least seven days before the exemption becomes effective).
    All pleadings, referring to Docket No. FD 36572, should be filed 
with the Surface Transportation Board via e-filing on the Board's 
website. In addition, one copy of each pleading must be served on 
Watco's representative, Bradon J. Smith, Fletcher & Sippel LLC, 29 
North Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606.
    According to Watco, this action is categorically excluded from 
environmental review under 49 CFR 1105.6(c) and from historic reporting 
requirements under 49 CFR 1105.8(b).
    Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov.

    Decided: January 14, 2022.

    By the Board, Scott M. Zimmerman, Acting Director, Office of 
Brendetta Jones,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2022-01154 Filed 1-20-22; 8:45 am]