Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00451-0095
Received: 1/27/2021 12:00:00 AM
Commenter: Sheila Tarbet
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
With respect, I urge you to choose the no-action alternative for the proposed Uinta Basin Railway. The proposed railway would do irreparable harm to the Uinta Basin region's air, water, land and wildlife. Because of this harm, the railway should not be built. The draft environmental impact statement provides an inadequate assessment of the harm this oil railway could have on the environment, wildlife and nearby communities. It's clear the railway expansion and the increased fuel that will be produced - up to about four times the current amount - will contribute to increased greenhouse gas emissions. We know our climate is already at a critical point, and that we must reduce fossil fuel use instead of expanding it in order for our children and grandchildren to have a habitable planet. Emission from the railway will also further pollute the air in the Uinta Basin in Utah, which already exceeds federal standards because of current oil and gas development. These are two critical points against the project. Future generations need us to reduce our fossil fuel use, and we must! The people who live in the Uinta Basin deserve clean air. The railroad will threaten more than 10,000 acres of habitat for migratory wildlife and will harm important habitat needed by the rare greater sage grouse and the endangered Barnaby ridge-cress. We are already in a major extinction event that we must reverse. It makes no sense to further threaten the habitat of migratory wildlife and these special species, the greater sage grouse and the Barnaby ridge-cress. The preferred project route would run almost the entire length of Utah's Indian Canyon Creek, crossing and degrading more than 400 streams and important wetlands along the Price River - harming the semi-arid state's precious perennial waterways. The potential harm to these waterways is huge. In Colorado, the project could mean reopening a rail line through scenic Tennessee Pass, despoiling scenic lands and wildlife habitat to get oil trains to the Gulf Coast. Mile-long oil trains could rip through sensitive areas like Browns Canyon, a rugged 22,000-acre national monument designated in 2015 to protect one of the wildest stretches of the Arkansas River. Do we really want to mar these special places? Finally the Uinta Basin Railway would harm people who live and recreate in both states. Landowners in Utah's Argyle Canyon and nearby off-grid canyon communities fear the disruptive noise, traffic delays, and clouds of diesel smoke oil trains will bring along the proposed routes - not to mention the significant potential for accidents, derailments, spills and even sparks that could ignite disastrous wildfires. And people in Colorado won't escape the air pollution drifting downwind from Uinta Basin, even as the railway rips through a national monument and other scenic areas supporting outdoorsy tourism many locals rely on for their livelihood. We must prioritize clean air, and additional air pollution must not be created. As one of those Americans that love to recreate in Utah and Colorado, I want to see these special places remain attractive to tourists. I love supporting the local economies in these places while experiencing the beautiful scenery and all the region has to offer.This project is an unacceptable threat to the health, safety and well-being of wildlife, humans and the planet. Please choose the no-action alternative.