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10/31/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB to release in mid-November final EIS on DM&E Powder River Basin project


Surface Transportation Board Oct. 31 announced plans to publicly release Nov. 19 its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp.'s (DM&E) proposed $1.5 billion Powder River Basin expansion project.


The board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) recently completed the EIS, which responds to more than 8,600 public-comment submissions, offers additional analysis and stipulates SEA's final environmental mitigation recommendations to STB.


SEA plans to mail the more-than-2,500-page final EIS only to key reviewing agencies, Indian tribes, elected officials and appropriate county offices, but also distribute the document to more than 80 libraries for public access. The entire document will be posted Nov. 19 on STB's Web site, www.stb.dot.gov, under Decisions & Notices.


STB plans shortly after Nov. 19 to render its decision to approve, approve with conditions or disapprove the proposed project based on an entire environmental record, including the draft and final EIS, all comments received and SEA's recommendations.


DM&E’s project involves constructing 280 track miles in western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming, and upgrading 600 track miles in South Dakota and Minnesota to access the Powder River Basin’s coal mines — ultimately, enabling the 1,105-mile regional to obtain Class I status per STB approval.














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