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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

OEA suspends environmental review of Great Lakes' freight-rail line

A map of Great Lakes Basin's preferred route.
Photo – Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc.

The Surface Transportation Board's Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) has suspended its environmental review of the Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc.'s proposal to build and operate a new 278-mile freight-rail line in the Midwest.

The board's OEA suspended its review this week at Great Lakes' request, according to a letter from Victoria Rutson, OEA director.

On Dec. 1, the railroad requested a temporary suspension of all environmental reviews of the project to finish preparing a "more complete overview of the project's business and operating impacts," according to Great Lakes' letter to Rutson.

Great Lakes has proposed constructing and operating the new rail line around the metro Chicago area. The line would operate in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. The company says its purpose is to expedite freight movement across the nation and provide additional capacity for growing railroad traffic.

The OEA will issue a final scope of study for the preparation of the draft environmental impact statement, taking into consideration all comments received during the public comment period, according to the OEA's website on the project. The office will invite additional public comment once alternative routes for the rail line are defined.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/15/2016