Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00388 -- Oral Comment at Public Meeting 

Received: 12/1/2020 12:00:00 AM
Commenter: Sarah Stock
Organization: Living Rivers

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
Hello.· Can you hear me?


All right.· Thank you.· I guess I would like to -- my name is Sarah Stock and today I'm
representing an organization called Living Rivers. We're based in southeastern Utah, but we focus a lot on protecting the water sheds of the Colorado River, including the Green River and the Duchesne and the Price.

And I was -- I went to -- I share many of the concerns that were voiced here today, especially about the impacts of increased oil and gas production that would be possible only because of this project in the Uinta Basin.· And those -- those impacts include air quality and climate change.· But today I'd like to speak more specifically about water and water resources.

So the railway itself would have direct impacts on almost 450 miles -- or there would be almost 450 stream crossings.· And we need to -- we need to take care of and preserve our perennial streams in Utah.· We are the second most arid state in the nation. And these perennial waterways are incredibly important for big game and fish species and birds and all kinds of things.

So the fact that the railway would run almost right on top of Indian Canyon Creek for almost its entire duration is a huge concern to us.· Also, where the rail line would connect to the existing railway up near Soldier Summit, up in the mountains, is right on the Price River where there are these special wetland environments.· And so we're really concerned about the loss of wetlands, the habitat associated with that and the impacts on water quality.· And then, above and beyond the railway itself, the increased drilling for oil and gas in the Uinta Basin depletes the waters in that area, and it also pollutes the waters in that area.· And the Colorado River system -- as I said before, the Duchesne River, the Indian Creek flows into the Duchesne River, the Duchesne flows into the Green River and that flows into the Colorado River.· The whole Colorado River system supports nearly 40 million people and agriculture.

So to increase oil and gas production in the Uinta Basin is folly.· And this project should be denied on those grounds.· The impacts to water are too great.· The impacts on climate change are too great. And the impacts on wildlife are also very great.

Anyway, thank you for gathering these comments today.· That's all I have.