Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00044
Received: 11/19/2020 2:28:00 PM
Commenter: Raphael Cordray
Organization: Utah Tar Sands Resistance
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
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Dear Mr WayLand Please see the attached letter re: Environmental filing, Docket No. FD 36284 Uinta Basin Railway draft eis Thank You Raphael Cordray
November 12, 2020
Joshua Wayland, Surface Transportation Board,
9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031,
Attention: Environmental filing,
Docket No. FD 36284
Subject: Request for extension of the public comment period for the Uinta Basin Railroad
Dear Mr Wayland
I am writing to you personally and on behalf of Utah Tar Sands Resistance (UTSR) and behalf our members to request an extension of the public review and comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Uinta Basin Railway.
As you are aware the Railway DEIS is a significantly complex document spanning many hundreds of pages. It is vital that our members, local residents, community and environmental organizations, business leaders, and other agencies have an adequate opportunity to review the Railway DEIS and provide comments. It is essential that those who will be most directly impacted have a sufficient opportunity to provide their comments on extensive impacts of this project.
The public comment period for the Uinta Basin Railway DEIS is currently set to close on December 14 2020. This is not a sufficient time period. Our community is facing the surge in covid cases and the compounding impact on more and more citizens' ability to quickly review the DEIS, and attend and comment at the upcoming public meetings. Many interested people are facing a crisis caused by the pandemic and need additional time to participate.
This Rail way is a massive project proposal that would impact the entire state for generations. Many in the affected area have grave concerns about the project.
Considering the scope, complexity and impact of this proposal, a short comment window of 45 days does not give enough time for the affected people to access and review the relevant information and make informed comments. The SCIC has provided insufficient information for the public to meaningfully comment on the Uinta Basin Rail Project and the SCIC response to GRAMA (public record) requests has been slow.
We urge you to extend the DEIS comment period up to and including Feb 14, 2021 and we request you hold additional public meetings on the DEIS in January 2021.
Thank you for your consideration,
Utah Tar Sands Resistance