The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has approved final mediation and arbitration rules that establish a new arbitration program for shippers and railroads.
The program allows shippers and railroads to voluntarily arbitrate certain types of disputes with defined liability limits in matters coming before the agency. The board has identified specific types of disputes eligible for the new arbitration program and established limits on monetary amounts in controversy.
The changes to the existing mediation rules establish procedures that allow the board to order parties to participate in mediation in certain types of disputes before the board, on a case specific basis. These actions reflect the board’s facilitation of alternative dispute resolution, in lieu of formal agency proceedings, wherever possible, in an attempt to consolidate and simplify formerly separate arbitration procedures and to encourage greater use of arbitration.