12/15/2021 (Wednesday) [PDF Version]
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The Surface Transportation Board today issued a decision granting final approval for an exemption sought by the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition (Coalition) to construct and operate a new line of railroad in Utah. This decision grants final approval for a construction and operation exemption for the Whitmore Park Alternative, subject to final environmental mitigation measures recommended by the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) in its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), with minor changes.
On May 29, 2020, the Coalition filed a petition for exemption for authorization to construct and operate an approximately 85-mile rail line connecting two termini in the Uinta Basin near South Myton Bench, Utah, and Leland Bench, Utah, to the national rail network at Kyune, Utah.
On January 5, 2021, the Board issued a decision assessing the transportation merits of the transaction and preliminarily concluded, subject to completion of the ongoing environmental and historic review, that the proposed transaction meets the statutory standards for exemption.
On August 6, 2021, OEA, in cooperation with stakeholders, tribes, and federal, state, and local agencies, completed an EIS that identified the Whitmore Park Alternative as its Environmentally Preferable Alternative because it would avoid or minimize major environmental impacts.
The Board’s decision is effective on January 14, 2022.
The decision in Seven County Infrastructure Coalition—Rail Construction & Operation Exemption—in Utah, Carbon, Duchesne, and Uintah Counties, Utah, Docket No. FD 36284, may be viewed and downloaded here.