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12/6/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB releases draft environmental study of San Jacinto's proposed Houston line


Surface Transportation Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) Dec. 6 for San Jacinto Rail Ltd.'s proposed 12.8-mile line near Houston.


San Jacinto, which is owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and four chemical shippers, plans to build the line between Bayport Industrial District in southeast Houston and a connection with the former Galveston, Henderson and Houston Railroad line now owned by Union Pacific Railroad. BNSF would operate the line, which San Jacinto officials believe will offer a rail alternative for petrochemical shippers now captive to UP.


STB will allow the public to review the Draft EIS at various locations, and will accept written or faxed comment until Jan. 27.


The board also plans to hold two public meetings, at which SEA officials will conduct a brief Draft EIS presentation and solicit comments. The meetings will be held Jan. 14 at Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Texas, and Jan. 15 at Cesar E. Chavez High School in Houston.


In August, STB conditionally granted San Jacinto a regulation exemption, which enables the company to construct the line pending a complete environmental review.


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