49 U.S. Code § 506 - Authority to investigate

(a) The Secretary of Transportation may begin an investigation under this chapter on the initiative of the Secretary or on complaint. If the Secretary finds that a rail carrier, motor carrier, motor carrier of migrant workers, or motor private carrier is violating this chapter, the Secretary shall take appropriate action to compel compliance with this chapter. The Secretary may take action only after giving the carrier notice of the investigation and an opportunity for a proceeding.
(b) A person, including a governmental authority, may file with the Secretary a complaint about a violation of this chapter by a carrier referred to in subsection (a) of this section. The complaint must state the facts that are the subject of the violation. The Secretary may dismiss a complaint the Secretary determines does not state reasonable grounds for investigation and action. However, the Secretary may not dismiss a complaint made against a rail carrier because of the absence of direct damage to the complainant.
(c) The Secretary shall make a written report of each proceeding involving a rail carrier or motor carrier conducted and furnish a copy to each party to that proceeding. The report shall include the findings, conclusions, and the order of the Secretary. The Secretary may have the reports published for public use. A published report of the Secretary is competent evidence of its contents.


(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b),Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2434.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
506 49:1655(f)(2). Oct. 15, 1966, Pub. L. 89–670, § 6(f)(2), 80 Stat. 940.
506(a), (b) 49:304(a)(3) (last sentence) (related to “Sec. 304(c)”). Feb. 4, 1887, ch. 104, 24 Stat. 379, § 204(a)(3) (last sentence) (related to “Sec. 204(c)”); added Aug. 9, 1935, ch. 498, 49 Stat. 546; Sept. 18, 1940, ch. 722, § 20(b)(4), 54 Stat. 922.
49:304(a)(3a) (last sentence) (related to “Sec. 304(c)”). Feb. 4, 1887, ch. 104, 24 Stat. 379, § 204(a)(3a) (last sentence) (related to “Sec. 204(c)”); added Aug. 3, 1956, ch. 905, § 2, 70 Stat. 958.

The section is included because 49:1655(f)(2) gave the same administrative powers exercised by the Interstate Commerce Commission under certain sections of title 49 to the Secretary of Transportation to carry out duties transferred to the Secretary by 49:1655(e). See the revision notes for section 501 of the revised title for an explanation of the transfer under 49:1655(f)(2). The powers of the Commission have been codified in subtitle IV of the revised title. The comparable provisions of title 49 that are represented by the section may be found as follows:

Section 506 49 U.S. Code Revised Section
(a) 13(1) (1st sentence less words before semicolon, last sentence), (2) (1st, 2d sentences). 11701
304(c) (1st sentence words after 5th comma, 2d sentence). 11701
(b) 13(1) (1st sentence words before semicolon). 11701
13(2) (less 1st, 2d sentences). 11701
304(c) (less 1st sentence words after 5th comma, 2d sentence). 11701
(c) 14. 10310
304(d) (related to reports). 10310

See the revision notes for the revised sections for an explanation of changes made in the text. Changes not accounted for in those revision notes are as follows:
In subsections (a) and (b), the text of 49:304(a)(3) (last sentence 1st–7th words) and (3a) (last sentence 1st–5th words) is omitted as executed.
Subsection (a) is patterned after 49:304(c). The words “violating this chapter” are substituted for “failed to comply with any such provision or requirement” for clarity.
In subsection (b), the text of 49:13(2) (last sentence) is omitted because 49:13(3) is not included in the specific enumeration of 49:1655(f)(2)(B)(ii). The words “referred to in subsection (a) of this section” are added for clarity.
Subsection (c) does not apply to motor carriers of migrant workers and motor private carriers because 49:304(d) applies only to motor carriers and 49:304(a)(3) and (3a) do not apply 49:304(d) to motor carriers of migrant workers and motor private carriers. The word “proceeding” is substituted for “investigation” for clarity and to conform to other sections of the revised title. The word “findings” is added for clarity. The word “decision” is omitted as covered by “conclusions”. The words “or requirement” are omitted as covered by “order”. The words “in the premises” are omitted as surplus. The words “and in case damages are awarded, such report shall include the findings of fact on which the award is made” are omitted as not applicable to this chapter. The words “entered of record”, “and decisions in such form and manner as may be best adapted for public information and use”, and “in all courts of the United States and of the several States without any further proof or authentication thereof” are omitted as surplus. The text of 49:14(3) (last sentence) is omitted as unnecessary.

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49 CFR - Transportation



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