On October 16 of this year, the Tongue River Railroad company filed an application with the Surface Transportation Board with the hopes of constructing and operating an approximately 83-miles rail line between Miles City and two ending points. Those ending points would be the planned Montco mine near Ashland, Montana and the proposed Otter Creek mine east of Ashland. Scoping meetings were held in southeast Montana this week as this project gets underway.
There is more than one proposed route for where this railroad could tie in. CLICK HERE to see the maps.
Public comment is being taken now through December 6 in the scoping process. This comment will be used in the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). There will then be a pubic comment period on that EIS before the final EIS, which is what will guide the final decision, is released.
Haylie Shipp attended one of the meetings on Thursday in Miles City. Here’s a taste of the public comment that was submitted:
- The railroad will be great for the local economies.
- One of the proposed routes will split my ranch and block my livestock’s access to existing water.
- We have a different railroad on our ranch and have had no problems.
- I’d support the railroad if this coal was used for US energy production.
- This railroad will haul coal which will further heighten problems with global warming and climate change.
- The railroad is being built in an area with too high of a flood risk.
The final scoping meeting is 2 to 4 on Friday in Lame Deer at the Chief Little Wolf Capital Building. Scoping comments must be submitted by December 6 and may be filed electronically on the Board's web site, http://www.stb.dot.gov, by clicking on the “E-FILING” link.
Scoping comments can also be submitted by mail should be addressed to:
Surface Transportation Board
395 E Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20423-0001
Environmental filing, Docket No. FD 30186
© Northern Ag Network 2012