49 U.S. Code § 11701 - General authority

§ 11701.
General authority
(a)
Except as otherwise provided in this part, the Board may begin an investigation under this part on the Board’s own initiative or upon receiving a complaint pursuant to subsection (b). If the Board finds that a rail carrier is violating this part, the Board shall take appropriate action to compel compliance with this part. If the Board finds a violation of this part in a proceeding brought on its own initiative, any remedy from such proceeding may only be applied prospectively.
(b)
A person, including a governmental authority, may file with the Board a complaint about a violation of this part by a rail carrier providing transportation or service subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part. The complaint must state the facts that are the subject of the violation. The Board may dismiss a complaint it determines does not state reasonable grounds for investigation and action. However, the Board may not dismiss a complaint made against a rail carrier providing transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part because of the absence of direct damage to the complainant.
(c)
A formal investigative proceeding begun by the Board under subsection (a) of this section is dismissed automatically unless it is concluded by the Board with administrative finality by the end of the third year after the date on which it was begun.
(d) In any investigation commenced on the Board’s own initiative, the Board shall—
(1)
not later than 30 days after initiating the investigation, provide written notice to the parties under investigation, which shall state the basis for such investigation;
(2)
only investigate issues that are of national or regional significance;
(3)
permit the parties under investigation to file a written statement describing any or all facts and circumstances concerning a matter which may be the subject of such investigation;
(4) make available to the parties under investigation and Board members—
(A)
any recommendations made as a result of the investigation; and
(B)
a summary of the findings that support such recommendations;
(5)
to the extent practicable, separate the investigative and decisionmaking functions of staff;
(6)
dismiss any investigation that is not concluded by the Board with administrative finality within 1 year after the date on which it was commenced; and
(7) not later than 90 days after receiving the recommendations and summary of findings under paragraph (4)—
(A)
dismiss the investigation if no further action is warranted; or
(B)
initiate a proceeding to determine if a provision under this part has been violated.
(e)
(1)
Any parties to an investigation against whom a violation is found as a result of an investigation begun on the Board’s own initiative may, not later than 60 days after the date of the order of the Board finding such a violation, institute an action in the United States court of appeals for the appropriate judicial circuit for de novo review of such order in accordance with chapter 7 of title 5.
(2) The court—
(A)
shall have jurisdiction to enter a judgment affirming, modifying, or setting aside, in whole or in part, the order of the Board; and
(B)
may remand the proceeding to the Board for such further action as the court may direct.
(Added Pub. L. 104–88, title I, § 102(a), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 845; amended Pub. L. 114–110, § 12(a), (b), Dec. 18, 2015, 129 Stat. 2234.)
Prior Provisions

A prior section 11701, Pub. L. 95–473, Oct. 17, 1978, 92 Stat. 1449; Pub. L. 96–296, § 26(a), July 1, 1980, 94 Stat. 818; Pub. L. 98–554, title II, § 226(c)(4), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2851; Pub. L. 99–521, § 12(a), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2998; Pub. L. 100–690, title IX, § 9111(i), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4534; Pub. L. 103–272, § 5(m)(34), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1378, related to general authority of Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce this subtitle, prior to the general amendment of this subtitle by Pub. L. 104–88, § 102(a). See sections 11701, 14701, and 15901 of this title.

Amendments

2015—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 114–110, § 12(a), substituted “on the Board’s own initiative or upon receiving a complaint pursuant to subsection (b)” for “only on complaint” and inserted at end “If the Board finds a violation of this part in a proceeding brought on its own initiative, any remedy from such proceeding may only be applied prospectively.”

Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 114–110, § 12(b), added subsecs. (d) and (e).

Effective Date

Chapter effective Jan. 1, 1996, except as otherwise provided in Pub. L. 104–88, see section 2 of Pub. L. 104–88, set out as a note under section 1301 of this title.

Rulemakings for Investigations of the Board’s Initiative

Pub. L. 114–110, § 12(c), Dec. 18, 2015, 129 Stat. 2235, provided that:

“Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 18, 2015], the Board shall issue rules, after notice and comment rulemaking, for investigations commenced on its own initiative that—
“(1)
comply with the requirements of section 11701(d) of title 49, United States Code, as added by subsection (b);
“(2)
satisfy due process requirements; and
“(3)
take into account ex parte constraints.”

 

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