Contact: Dennis Watson
10/20/2003 (Monday)
(202) 565-1596
No. 03-43
FIRS 1 (800) 877-8339

Surface Transportation Board's Section of Environmental Analysis to Hold October 22 & 23 Scoping Meetings on "Central Utah" Proposed Rail Line Construction & Operation

The Surface Transportation Board (Board) announced today that its Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) will hold two public scoping meetings on Wednesday, October 22, 2003, in Salina, Utah and Thursday, October 23, 2003, in Gunnison, UT, to obtain public comments on the scope of SEA's environmental review for the "Central Utah Rail Project," in the case entitled Six County Association of Governments Construction and Operation Rail Line between Levan and Salina, Utah, STB Finance Docket No. 34075.

Public Scoping Meetings: SEA has scheduled two public scoping for citizens, governmental agencies, and other interested parties in the vicinity of the proposed line. The first meeting will be held on October 22, 2003, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. MT, at North Sevier High School, 350 West 400 North, Salina, UT. The second meeting will be held on October 23, 2003, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. MT, at Gunnison City Hall, 38 West Center Street, Gunnison, UT. During these meetings, SEA representatives will make a brief presentation. Both meetings will be immediately preceded by informal "open house" sessions during which members of the public may view maps of the proposed project and meet with SEA representatives.

For further information concerning the Central Utah Rail Project or the public meetings, telephone Rick Black, HDR Engineering Central Utah Project Manger, at (801) 281-8892, or Phillis Johnson-Ball, STB Environmental Project Manager, at (202) 565-1530. After the meeting, written comments may be mailed to:

Attention: STB Finance Docket No. 34075

Case Control Unit
Surface Transportation Board
1925 K Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20423-0001

with the following designation written in the lower left-hand corner of the envelope:

Attention: Phillis Johnson-Ball,
Environmental Project Manager
Environmental Filing

Written comments must be postmarked by December 8, 2003, to ensure full consideration in the Final Scope of Study (Final Scope). The Final Scope will reflect issues raised both orally at the public scoping meetings and in written comments received by the Board by the December 8, 2003 deadline.

Today's announcement follows the Board's issuance of a "Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement" on September 30, 2003, in STB Finance Docket No. 34075. That decision is available for a fee by contacting D~ 2 D~ Legal Copy Service, Suite 405, 1925 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006, telephone (202) 293-7776, or via The decision also is available for viewing and downloading via the Board's website at A Fact Sheet concerning STB Finance Docket No. 34075 is attached.



"Central Utah Rail Project"
Six County Association of Governments Construction and Operation Rail Line between Levan and Salina, Utah, STB Finance Docket No. 34075

The Six County Association of Governments (Six County) is a voluntary consortium of local governments dedicated to economic development in the member counties of Sevier, Juab, Sanpete, Millard, Piute, and Wayne Counties, UT.

Six County seeks Board authority to construct and operate a 43-mile rail line between Salina and the nearest active rail line, a Union Pacific Railroad Company line near Levan. Six County has stated that the proposed project will provide rail access to a number of industries, primarily coal mines owned by the Southern Utah Fuel Company, located 30 miles east of Salina in northern Sevier County. Industries in the counties of Sanpete and Sevier must now rely exclusively on trucking for freight transportation.

SEA has determined that the construction and operation of the proposed line has the potential to result in significant environmental impacts, warranting preparation of a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act. As part of its environmental review process, SEA is conducting "scoping" that examines the proposal, formulates specific alternatives to the proposal, and determines the appropriate environmental issues to be analyzed.

Following scoping, SEA will prepare a Draft EIS addressing environmental issues and recommending mitigation, if appropriate. SEA will make the Draft EIS available for public review and comment. A Final EIS will next be prepared reflecting SEA's further analysis and comments received on the Draft EIS.