Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00506
Received: 1/29/2021 1:04:53 AM
Commenter: Taylor Monney
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
The Uinta Basin Railway would result in immeasurable damage to an already fragile landscape, further deteriorate the climate, and degrade precious waterways. For the sake of the land, our future, and our water, I urge the Surface Transportation Board to reject the Railway proposal. An adequate environmental impact study should account for the impact of increased fossil fuel emissions and their impact on global climate. Additional oil projects, such as this railway, would increase oil development and emissions, at a time when most scientists agree that humanity only has until 2030 to cut our emissions by half to maintain the livability of this planet. The Uinta Basin Railway ignores this scientific consensus in favor of short term economic expediency, and this will contribute to the devastation wrought on our climate by fossil fuels. In addition to global effects, the local effects from the Railway will be acute and destructive. The air quality in the Uinta Basin already suffers due to fossil fuel projects, and this railway will only lead to more mining and drilling, and a further deterioration of air quality. The Board should also reject the Railway because of its impacts on the non-human residents of the basin. The proposed route crosses through roadless areas, streams, wetlands and through the habitat of endangered and threatened species such as the Sage Grouse. The impact on water is severe, and in an arid place like the Uintah Basin, protecting water resources should be a top priority of any environmental impact analysis. Contrary to the goal of riparian protection however, this proposed route of the train will impact over 61 miles of streams and 26 acres of floodplains, in addition to requiring approximately 433 stream crossings. The impacts of the railway on the climate, land, water, and local species disqualify the Uinta Basin Railway as environmentally sound, and I urge the board to reject the proposal.