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12/11/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB arm issues supplemental environmental impact statement for proposed Texas line



The Surface Transportation Board’s Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) recently released a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for Southwest Gulf Railroad Co.’s proposed seven-mile line in Medina County, Texas.

In 2004, the SEA issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which assessed four potential rail routes to connect a proposed Vulcan Construction Materials L.P. limestone quarry to a Union Pacific Railroad line near Dunlay, Texas, as well as the use of trucks to move limestone to the Class I’s line if Southwest Gulf Railroad’s project didn’t proceed.

Based on public comments received on the DEIS, SEA officials decided to prepare the SDEIS to analyze three additional rail routes east of those originally proposed. The supplemental statement preliminarily concludes that two of the eastern routes would be preferable to others because the lines would avoid or minimally impact rural historic landscapes in the project area discovered during the environmental review, the STB said.

The SEA currently is accepting public comment on the SDEIS until Jan. 29. After comments are received, the agency will prepare a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project.


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