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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals

5/20/2004



Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Alaska Railroad to assess environmental condition of Ship Creek Yard


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Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC) recently reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a long-term environmental investigation and remedial assessment of Ship Creek yard north of downtown Anchorage.

For more than 80 years, ARRC and previous owners have used the 600-acre site, which EPA officials believe poses environmental concerns. If railroad officials discover any significant contamination during the study, they must assess the risks to people, wildlife or the environment, according to the agreement.

Assessment results will help ARRC and EPA officials develop a cleanup plan. Cleanup responsibilities will be shared between past and present site owners. The U.S. government built ARRC in 1915 and operated the railroad until transferring ownership to the state of Alaska in 1985.

"The potentially complex issue boils down to what occurred and who was responsible at the time," said ARRC President and Chief Executive Officer Pat Gamble in a prepared statement. "But clearly, the bottom line is that we and those affiliated parties will want to address any findings right away."

ARRC officials expect the remedial investigation to take several years. During the study, they will solicit public involvement by scheduling meetings, and distributing fact sheets and other documents.


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