Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00265 

Received: 1/5/2021 9:58:15 AM
Commenter: Erica Wohldmann
State: Colorado

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
I am writing to express my deep opposition to the proposed rail line reopening through the Arkansas Valley. As a resident of Buena Vista, I am extremely concerned about the environmental impacts of this line, which is expected to carry crude oil through our beautiful valley. Oil tankers and coal cars would be very disruptive, dirty, and noisy. They would also completely change and degrade the river experience, which our rural county relies on heavily for revenue--rafters, kayakers, and fishermen travel here from all over the country to enjoy the wild landscape. Browns Canyon Monument has national protection for a reason--it's incredibly special and a train would diminish the natural beauty. Just one derailment could cause serious damage to the Gold Medal Trout Stream and impact wildlife for years to come. Derailments in our area were common throughout the railroad's history because of the rugged landscape in our Valley. In fact, one occurred in Browns Canyon as recently as 1995. Passenger service has been mentioned as an additional asset if the rail line is reopened and IF public funds are available, which basically means we're subsidizing this line in the hopes that we might get a passenger train. Do we really want to give another corporate handout, especially to dirty oil? While passenger trains look attractive in terms of creating automobile-free ways to get from the Arkansas Valley to Vail/Eagle area, no concrete plans for mass transit are actually in the works, and would require our cash-strapped county to assist with the cost. Please reject this proposal.Sincerely, Dr. Erica Wohldmann