Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00240 

Received: 12/15/2020 2:37:00 PM
Commenter: Harold Marshall
State: Utah

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
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Submission Text
See attached.


Joshua Wayland, PhD
Surface Transportation Board
c/o ICF
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031
Attention: Environmental filing, Docket No. FD 36284

The Uintah Basin has been isolated from the nation. The Basin economy needs a transportation alternate from the 2 highways. Most of the people transportation from the basin is consistent driving HWY 40 west to Salt Lake City. Basin people connect to wide transportation (airlines), shopping, colleges, music and entertainment, conferences and political connections, and hospitals and medical services. The transportation for people competes on the road with the oil tankers and delivery trucks and people coming to the basin from Salt Lake City for entertainment. There are massive number of - campers, boats, and hauling entertainment vehicles using HWY 40 from Salt Lake City to the basin to access the basin and the mountains. Depending the day, I count 30 to 150 trucks passing by (one direction) in 3 hours of driving to Salt Lake City.

Rail is the best way to transport heavy loads. Rebuilding the HWY over and over because the heavy loads that destroy the highway is costly. The environment costs more for shipping on the HWY than the rail. In other words; the trucks burn more fuel for shipping and the trains use. The truck maintenance is more than the train. Maintenance for the HWY is more than the rail which means that the environment cost is less with the rail. Wildlife "kills" from trucks (deer, elk, moose, and small game) are more than the rail. The safety issues driving with the trucks on the HWY are more than transportation than rail.

There is a crude pipeline that services from Rangely, CO area to Salt Lake City but that pipeline is limited to capacity and the type of crude that can transport. The basin crude is heavy with paraffin waxes which limits transportation with pipelines. Tank trucks are used for transportation from the basin using Highway 40 through Heber and to Salt Lake City.

Resources that have to transport on the HWY 40 in and out of the basin such as: frac sand, gilsonite, oil shale, oil sands, timber, phosphate, coal, natural gas, propane, acids, cattle, and crops.

Any of the routes will benefit the basin. Choosing the route is about the alternate that will harm less the environment.

In my opinion that the Rail will help the basin economy and the investment of the Rail will pay back multiple times. The environment and safety will benefit with the rail. The basin people will benefit with the rail. The State will benefit with the rail. The people from Salt Lake City will benefit with the rail. The wildlife will benefit with the rail.

Thank you,
Harold Marshall
2225 N. 2500 W.
Vernal, UT 84078