|SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT|
|FOX VALLEY & WESTERN LTD.--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN KEWAUNEE COUNTY, WI|
|Chief Of Section Of Environmental Analysis|
|CONCLUDED THAT AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT PROCESS IS UNNECESSARY AND INVITED PUBLIC COMMENT REGARDING THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT.|
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|Full Text of Decision|
IN KEWAUNEE COUNTY, WISCONSIN
In this proceeding, Fox Valley & Western Ltd. (FVW), a
subsidiary of the Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation,
has filed a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 seeking exemption from
the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10903 in connection with the
abandonment of its railroad line between Milepost 18.9 in
Luxemburg and Milepost 35.6 at the end of the line in Kewaunee, a
distance of 16.7 miles in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. A map
depicting the rail line in relationship to the area served is
appended to the report. If the exemption becomes effective, the
railroad will be able to salvage track, ties and other railroad
appurtenances, and to dispose of the right-of-way.
DESCRIPTION OF THE LINE
In its application, FVW states that the only shipper on the
line, Kewaunee Co-op, does not contest the proposed abandonment
and is making arrangements to relocate to another rail line
The railroad has submitted an environmental report that
concludes the quality of the human environment will not be
affected significantly as a result of the abandonment or any
post-abandonment activities, including salvage and disposition of
the right-of-way. The railroad has served the environmental
report on a number of appropriate Federal, state, and local
agencies as required by the Board's environmental rules at 49 CFR
1105.7(b). We have investigated and reviewed the record in this
FVW and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)
have executed a Consent Order to remediate the Kewaunee Marsh
arsenic contamination site. The stipulations of the Consent
Order are on-going and FVW states that it will coordinate with
WDNR to determine whether FVW is responsible for remedition at
other contamination sites nearby. According to WDNR, FVW's
commitment to leave the ballast undisturbed during salvage, in
addition to the stiuplations of the Consent Order, is sufficient
mitigation at this time. WDNR states that if the ballast is ever
removed from the right-of-way, sampling will be required to
define the degree and extent of any contamination and remediation
will be required if necessary.
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has informed us that 3
geodetic station markers may be affected by the proposed
abandonment. NGS requests that it receive not less than 90 days'
notification in advance of any salvage activities that may affect
the markers in order to plan for their relocation. NGS also sent
a copy of the list and location of the markers to FVW. We will
recommend NGS's request as a condition to any abandonment
We recommend the following environmental condition be placed
on any decision granting abandonment authority:
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has identified 3 geodetic
station markers that may be affected by the proposed abandonment.
Therefore, FVW shall notify NGS at least 90 days prior to any
salvage activities that may disturb or destroy these markers to
that plans can be made for their relocation.
Based on the information provided from all sources to date,
and subject to the recommended conditions, we conclude that, as
currently proposed, abandonment of the line will not
significantly affect the quality of the human environment.
Therefore, the environmental impact statement process is
Alternatives to the proposed abandonment would include
denial (and therefore no change in operations), discontinuance of
service without abandonment, and continued operation by another
operator. In any of these cases, the existing quality of the
human environment and energy consumption should not be affected.
Following abandonment and salvage of the rail line, the
right-of-way may be suitable for other public use. A request
containing the requisite four-part showing for imposition of a
public use condition (49 CFR 1152.28) must be filed with the
Board and served on the railroad within the time specified in the
Federal Register notice.
A request for a notice of interim trail use (NITU) is due to
the Board, with a copy to the railroad, within 10 days of
publication of the notice of the petition for exemption in the
Federal Register. Nevertheless, the Board will accept late-filed
requests as long as it retains jurisdiction to do so in a
particular case. This request must comply with the Board's rules
for use of rights-of-way as trails (49 CFR 1152.29).
The Board's Office of Public Services responds to questions
regarding interim trail use, public use, and other reuse
alternatives. You may contact the Office of Public Services
directly at (202) 565-1592, or mail inquiries to Surface
Transportation Board, Office of Public Services, Washington, DC
If you wish to file comments regarding this environmental
assessment, you should send an original and two copies to Vernon
A. Williams, Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20423, to
the attention of Dana White, who prepared this environmental
assessment. Please refer to Docket No. AB- 402 (Sub No. 5X) in
all correspondence addressed to the Board. If you have questions
regarding this environmental assessment, you should contact Dana
White at (202) 565-1552.
Date made available to the public: June 12, 1998.
Comment due date: July 10, 1998. (30 Days)
By the Board, Elaine K. Kaiser, Chief, Section of
Vernon A. Williams