Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00069 

Received: 12/1/2020 7:28:24 PM
Commenter: Shawn Vaccaro
State: Utah

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
I would like to express concern around the Uinta Basin Railway project and the potential environmental impact to water resources along the identified rail route(s). In general, my concern is the proximity to streams and springs at a number of points along the proposed 85 mile route. This is arid, high-desert terrain with very limited water resources. The small streams and springs along the proposed routes are critical to wildlife and livestock habitat and watering. I fear that the proposed rail will alter these limited water sources, and potentially cause natural springs to be damaged or to go dry. Specifically, my family owns 3 land parcels in Argyle Canyon that appear to be very close to the proposed rail routes (from the EIS interactive map). One 40-acre parcel has a free-flowing spring and is the only surface water source for several miles in the canyon. The spring and point of rail crossing is at a delicate 9000' elevation. The spring is used by free-range livestock for watering, by native wildlife for watering, and by area cabin owners that don't have water to their properties and fill containers at this spring. Additionally, Duchesne County has buried two below-ground water tanks that catch surplus water from our spring for water storage and firefighting purposes. Once these tanks are filled, the water flows back into the natural drainage. Again, our concern is the rail construction could alter or damage these vital natural springs, or cause them to go dry, in this arid, high elevation environment. Out of this concern, we are opposed to the construction of the Uinta Basin Railway project. Thank you for considering our input and opinion, Shawn Vaccaro for Vaccaro Family Enterprises (801) 860-2889