Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00408 -- Oral Comment at Public Meeting 

Received: 12/3/2020 12:00:00 AM
Commenter: Jean Mold

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text


Okay.· Thank you.· I am resident of the Uinta Basin and a landowner there in Argyle
area.· And so I have pros and cons for both.

You know, I'm a strong believer in economic development in the Uinta Basin because I understand the economy here needs help.· I understand that we need long-term solutions.· I understand all of that because I live here.· And I've work closely with the oil and gas industry over the years, and so I understand those dynamics.· But as a property owner in Argyle, I have a lot of concerns about the routes being proposed.· So I am not opposed to the railway per se, but I am opposed to the routes.· Because, you know, I hear comments that they are just weekend cabin places or they are wilderness area or they are unusable land.· But coming through Indian Canyon and up into Argyle is a beautiful ride and a drive and that will be all disturbed and that will all change.· And then as you come up into the
Argyle area, it is a heavily-wooded area with a lot of springs and ponds and water wells.· And I am very concerned about how the water will be affected.· I'm very concerned about the fire potential because it is a heavily-wooded area.· And I've not seen any plans or comments on the mitigation of fire prevention.· And because it is so heavily wooded, that when fires have started in the past, they do a lot of damage in a short amount of time.· So I am very concerned about that with the railway.

I'm concerned about the air quality, the noise pollution.· I mean, that's what we are going to
hear when we are in that area.· Everyone has invested a lot of time and energy in building the spots that they can take their family.· And I think that has been even more relevant during these Covid times to see how important those places are to our families.· And the privacy -- I am concerned that the privacy will be lost with the railway coming in.· The tunnel impact is huge. Because we all know that that kind of construction will disrupt more likely than not the water, the wildlife, the movement of everything up there.· I've tried to get detailed maps on exactly where the proposed routes come through, which landowners are affected and what areas and what waters are affected.

Everything is pretty vague.· I have not been able to get real concrete, pinpoint answers.· And I know those things are still being worked on, but those are my concerns.· I understand the long term.· We need to do long term economic development for the Uinta
Basin.· I agree with that.


I do -- I am unclear.· You know, we keep saying if we can have the railway in the Uinta
Basin it will open up our economy and solve our problems, but I sometimes wonder.· Because Price, Utah has a railway goes right through it and their economy struggles, too.· And so what will be the difference that the railway will provide for us if the oil and gas
industry is slowed down with that incoming, you know, government administration?

So, those are my concerns.· Again, I'm proeconomic development.· I just am not in support of these route proposals.


I would just like to echo Darrell's last comments and that, you know, in the
Uinta Basin, you know, people are wondering why we are so passionate about Argyle.· And this would be similar, and it's not the same.· But it would be similar to trying to propose a railway up through Diamond Mountains where it has been in families for generation and generations and properties are worth millions of dollars, but more importantly they are important part of properties to the landowners and to the families.
And, you know, it's important.

So I -- my point is the same as Darrell's last comments is that what if we could find a better
route, a route that wouldn't affect over 300 landowners, you know?· And I know that some are -- not all are affected directly, but all are affected up in that area.· That's a lot of property owners affected by some -- by this decision.

So, again, I am very proeconomic development for the Uinta Basin.· I am not opposed to
the railway; I am opposed to these routes.· Thank you.