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5/2/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Proposed Houston line poses 'no significant' environmental concerns, STB says


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On May 2, Surface Transportation Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) publicly released its Final Environmental Impact Statement on San Jacinto Rail Ltd.'s proposed 12.8-mile line near Houston, which finds the project poses no significant environmental impacts.


The line would have moderate impacts on surface water, wetlands and plants, and negligible-to-no impacts on all other environmental concerns. SEA recommends 80 mitigation measures to address the moderate and negligible impacts.


On May 9, STB plans to vote on whether to grant San Jacinto final project approval. The deadline for filing administrative appeals is June 9.


Owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and four chemical shippers, San Jacinto 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 would create a rail alternative to petrochemical shippers now captive to UP.


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