Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00231 

Received: 12/14/2020 10:02:00 AM
Commenter: Eileen Potter
State: Utah

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
UBR-DEIS-00231-53749.pdf Size = 73 KB
Download Adobe Reader
Submission Text
See attached.


RE: Docket No. FD 36284
Dear Mr. Wayland,

This is the first EIS I have ever read, and it is surprisingly thorough. I have not read it all, but have read the sections that I am most concerned about. These are my comments on those sections:

In Section, Cumulative Impacts, Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases, I cannot see that dust from dirt roads was included in your measurements of particulate matter or visibility. I see you relied heavily on the Monument Butte EIS for your numbers, please rerun them factoring in the miles of new dirt road that will be required for future oil development. I have a hard time believing the levels of particulate matter from dust and heavy diesel engine emissions would not exceed attainment. I can attest that visibility of the Uinta Mountains from our house is greatly reduced during boom cycles, and noticeably improves during bust cycles, even if a slow down only lasts a few months. 

Section 3.11.2 Land Use, Special Designations, Conservation Easements, the Draft EIS states, "There are no conservation easements in the study area." That statement is not true. On our land (identified in the Draft EIS as Arthur Taylor Ranch) located in Indian Canyon, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has a conservation easement on about 1000 acres.

In Section 4.4.11 Mitigation Measures, SOCIO-MM 1 states that private landowners should receive "appropriate compensation" based on "fair market value." Fair market value assumes a willing seller. I assure you, when facing a lifetime of disruption of your ranching operation by a railroad, market value for the land it sits on and the capital improvements lost is not enough. I repeat, fair market value is not enough. I appreciate that the EIS does direct the Coalition to negotiate compensation for both direct and indirect losses from both construction and operation of the railroad.

Thank you.

Eileen Potter
PO Box444
Duchesne, UT 84021 (435)738-5344