Tongue River Railroad Public Comment Period Extended Again

On July 27, 2015 the Northern Cheyenne Tribe renewed their request for a 120-day comment period on the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the proposed Tongue River Railroad. This time the request was accompanied by a letter of support from Governor Bullock's office. A previous request from the Tribe for a 120-day comment period, supported by Senator Jon Tester and State Auditor Monica Lindeen, was initially denied by the Surface Transportation Board. This morning we received a notice from the STB that they are extending the comment period until September 23, 2015, 30 days shorter than the Tribe and the Governor requested. The STB also indicated that no further extensions will be granted. [Text of STB email received this morning] Dear Reader, On April 17, 2015, the Surface Transportation Board’s (Board) Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed construction and operation of the Tongue River Railroad in Southeastern Montana.  Originally, a 60-day comment period was established and comments were due by June 23, 2015.  After receiving a number of requests for an extension of the comment period, OEA decided to extend the public comment period an additional 60 days until August 24, 2015 to give the public and interested parties additional time to read and comment on the Draft EIS.  During this time, OEA has received additional requests for another extension of the comment period and has decided to extend the comment period for an additional 30 days.  The extended public comment period will now end on September 23, 2015, and no further extensions of time will be granted.  All comments must be received or postmarked by September 23, 2015.  Comments that have been previously submitted do not need to be resubmitted. How to View the Draft EIS:  The Draft EIS is available for viewing and downloading via the Board’s website at http://www.stb.dot.gov, under “E-Library,” then under “Decisions & Notices,” beneath the date “04/17/15.”  The Draft EIS is also available on the Board-sponsored project website athttp://www.tonguerivereis.com. Comment Period:  The public and any interested parties are encouraged to make written comments on all aspects of this Draft EIS.  All comments must be received or postmarked within the comment period, which will close onSeptember 23, 2015.  Please refer to Docket No. FD 30186 in all correspondence addressed to the Board. Written comments on the Draft EIS may be submitted to: Ken Blodgett Surface Transportation Board 395 E Street, S.W. Washington, DC 20423 ATTN: Office of Environmental Analysis Docket No. 30186 Comments may also be submitted electronically on the project website,www.tonguerivereis.com. For additional information, please call the project hotline at 1-866-622-4355 or visit www.tonguerivereis.com.  Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to receiving your comments.

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