Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00405 -- Oral Comment at Public Meeting 

Received: 12/3/2020 12:00:00 AM
Commenter: Donald Jex

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
Hi, Jennifer, can you hear me okay?


Great.· I only -- I have a couple of concerns that I don't feel have been adequately addressed by the draft copy of the EIS.· First of all, from an economic standpoint I appreciate the residents of the Uinta Basin in wanting to have this type of economic opportunity for their residents.· However, the numbers that I've seen, and I'm a tax accountant and a rural agent for the internal revenue service.· The numbers I've seen do not justify the cost that it's going to take to put in this rail line and maintain it after the fact.· So that's my first objection to this rail line even being considered at this time.

The second concern I have basically are the statements, many of the statements made in the
environmental impact statement that the opinions of those who have drafted this environmental impact statement are for the most part not residents of the area.· They don't have to deal with the long term effects of this rail line.· They don't have to worry about the tax implications for property and other taxes.· They are going to affect the residents of this county and this area should the production of oil not raise the level that they're anticipating.

Thirdly, the impact on the ground water and -- by the way, my wife and I are property owners in upper Argyle Canyon.· Our property is located about a mile below where the rail line would be run on the Whitmore route.· The ground water up there is going to be substantially affected by the drilling of the tunnel through that part of the canyon.· Because not only the winter runoff but the spring rains and so on feed Argyle Creek, which goes all the way down to 9-Mile Highway.· And if that moisture stream is interrupted, that's going to have a disastrous affect of the ecology of the canyon.


Thank you.· Lastly, my last concern with the effects of the Church Camp Fire set six or seven or eight years ago.· We are still recovering from the effects of that fire.· Introducing a spark-generating rail line in the top part of that canyon is going to be disastrous.· And there is no way that anybody can guarantee that fires will not be an issue with the route that the rail line is taking through the foliage in that canyon.


Thank you very much. I appreciate the time to speak.


I just wanted to make one final comment concerning the responsibility of the government
entities that are involved.· I don't know how many of you have been following the election results, but I think we're in a real catch-22 here with the possibility of an administration coming into power that has expressly intended to shut down the carbon drilling and fracking industry.· And I'm concerned about how this will impact the overall effect of this industry in the Uinta Basin.

We need to make sure that before we're dealing with all of these what-ifs, I think that is a
major what-if that we need to talk about.· And I think, you know, as long as we're dealing with what-ifs, that's one that needs to be taken into account.

I realize there is not an environmental impact, but it is certainly going to be an impact
somewhere.· That's all I have.· Thank you.