Today the Surface Transportation Board—the arm of the federal government that approves all new rail lines in the country—posted a draft environmental impact statement on the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension project.
The new rail extension would begin at Port MacKenzie in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and extend track some 30 miles to 45 miles to the mainline of the Alaska Railroad. The connecting point, between Big Lake and Willow, has not yet been decided in this draft EIS document.
“With more than 80 percent of the Alaska economy dependent on dwindling oil supplies from the North Slope, it’s critical that we diversify our economy with another industry. This project does that,” said Matanuska-Susitna Borough Manager John Duffy.
The federal Surface Transportation Board is hosting six public meetings.
At the public meetings an overview will be followed by a formal comment period during which each interested individual will be given several minutes to address the meeting participants and convey his or her oral comments. A court reporter will be present to record these oral comments. If time permits, the court reporter will be available at the conclusion of the formal segment of the meeting to record oral comments from individuals not interested in addressing the meeting as a whole. Meetings will be held at the following dates, times, and locations:
The deadline to comment is May 10, 2010.
Comments can be mailed to:
David Navecky, Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20423, Attention: Environmental Filing, STB Finance Docket No. 35095
Please feel free to contact the STB with questions and document requests at 1-888-257-7560
Commenters also may submit comments electronically. Environmental comments may be filed electronically on the STB Web site at www.stb.dot.gov by clicking on the “E-FILING” link. By selecting “Environmental Comments” after the link, individuals will not be required to log in to submit their comments. Comments can be typed into the online form provided, or attached as Microsoft Word®, Corel Word Perfect®, or Adobe® Acrobat® files.
All local libraries will receive a copy of the draft EIS.
The project website has a link to the STB draft EIS. http://www.portmacrail.com/