Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00447
Received: 1/27/2021 4:36:37 PM
Commenter: Karl Morell
Organization: Rio Grande Pacific Corporation
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
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Please find attached the Seven County Infrastructure’s response to recent requests to further extend the public comment period on the DEIS. For the reasons described therein, the Coalition does not believe an extension is warranted and asks that OEA end the comment period on January 28, 2021. In addition, I am attaching a verified statement from Mark Hemphill, Senior Vice President – Program Management of Rio Grande Pacific Corporation. Rio Grande Pacific’s counsel, Karl Morell (copied on this email), planned to submit this to you today in response to the extension requests. However, Mr. Morell is not able to do so due to internet connectivity problems and asked me to provide you with the verified statement. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Kathryn K. Floyd, Esq. | Venable LLP
BEFORE THE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
Finance Docket No. 36284
SEVEN COUNTY INFRASTRUCTURE COALITION— CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION—IN UTAH, CARBON, DUCHESNE, AND UINTAH COUNTIES, UT.
VERIFIED STATEMENT OF MARK W. HEMPHILL
1. My name is Mark W. Hemphill. I am Senior Vice President – Program Management of Rio Grande Pacific Corporation. My office is located at 6100 Southwest Blvd., Suite 320, Fort Worth, Texas 76109.
2. As Senior Vice President – Program Management, I lead Rio Grande Pacific’s program for development of greenfield railways and terminals, and other major projects that integrate commercial, regulatory, engineering, and operational planning and execution. I have over 40 years of experience in the railroad industry.
3. I am submitting this Verified Statement in connection with the Uinta Basin Railway proposed by the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition in FD 36284, currently undergoing environmental review by the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis.
4. Rio Grande Pacific is a railroad holding company for regional freight railroads. The company’s operations include five short line railroads operating on approximately 860 total route miles in seven states, including the Colorado Midland & Pacific Railway Company (CMP). Rio Grande Pacific is also the operator of the “A” Train, a commuter railroad owned by the Denton County (Texas) Transportation Authority.
5. I am actively involved in and am familiar with CMP’s commercial agreement with Union Pacific Railroad (UP) for the majority of the Tennessee Pass Rail Line in Colorado. CMP has filed for common-carrier authority to operate the Tennessee Pass Line with the Board (FD 36471).
6. The planned operation of the Tennessee Pass Line by CMP is unrelated to the Coalition’s proposed Uinta Basin Railway, and Rio Grande Pacific and CMP have no plans to transport oil originating from the Uinta Basin Railway along the Tennessee Pass Line.
7. It is not practical or economical to transport oil on the Tennessee Pass Line. A route using the Tennessee Pass Line is the highest-cost option for moving oil from the Uinta Basin to destination refineries anywhere east of Utah, in terms of both capital expenditures and operating expenditures.
8. Rio Grande Pacific’s primary interest in leasing the Tennessee Pass Line is to provide passenger rail service.
I, Mark W. Hemphill, declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Further, I certify that I am qualified and authorized to file this statement.
Executed on this 26th day of January, 2021.