Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00045
Received: 11/19/2020 12:28:00 PM
Commenter: Raphael Cordray
Organization: Utah Tar Sands Resistance
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
UBR-DEIS-00045-53547.pdf Size = 49 KB
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Utah Tar Sands Resistance.
Cathryn Raphael Cordray
4187 so Neptune dr
Millcreek Utah 84124
November 19, 2020
Joshua Wayland, Surface Transportation Board,
9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031,
Attention: Environmental filing,
Docket No. FD 36284
Subject: Request for the re-notice and reschedule of public meetings for the Uinta Basin Railroad (UBRY) draft eis presentation and comment opportunity.
Dear Mr Wayland
I am writing to you personally and on behalf of Utah Tar Sands Resistance (UTSR) and behalf our members to request that your office remove the eventbrite barrier for the UBRY public meetings and reschedule the 3 meetings this week which have been blocked by the failure of eventbrite to allow registration up to 60 minutes before the actual start of the meeting.
Please remove the registration barrier from the meetings scheduled for nov 30, dec 1 and 3 and provide instructions on how to join the meeting without the registration on the eventbrite page you are sending people to. Currently this page functions as a dead end for anyone who arrives on that page and wants to join a meeting one hour before and all during the meeting by indicating that “sales have ended” for the meeting in progress. This is extremely misleading and possibly in violation of the rights of the public.
The OEA has no way to determine how many participants have already been thwarted from meaningful participation in the meeting held on Monday afternoon and the meeting on Wednesday morning. I was able to attend both meetings however I had to take additional steps to join because eventbrite said the meeting was closed. I know of others who were unable to get in and did not know how to contact you and get access al be it late.
It seems that very few people were actually able to join the meeting on either day, this is remarkable considering how many folks are interested and can use zoom. I know that folks were deterred by the message on eventbrite.
The fact that your web page directs people to a page that tells them the meeting is closed well before and during the entire meeting is alarming when the actual meeting is full of dead air and there is ample time for comments and participation contrary to the message on eventbrite.
Your office is creating a false impression that people are not interested in these meetings. Further your zoom meetings are unnecessarily restricted by not allowing the public to see the participants and the number of attendees in realtime is also deceptive. I have attended several public meetings for state agencies and I know that accommodations can easily be made to show the number of participants and to get participants to register without eventbrite.
I have already requested an extension of the dec 14 deadline into feb 14, 2021. I reiterate the need to extend based on the problems created by your use of eventbrite as the way you tell people to access the meetings. Considering these concerns I must urge you to extend the DEIS comment period up to and including Feb 14, 2021 and request you hold additional public meetings on the DEIS in January or February 2021.
Thank you for your consideration,
Utah Tar Sands Resistance
[See original attachment for identical text.]