FRA outlines additional safety measures for DM&EÆs loan
The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration said Jan. 31 that the proposed Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Powder River Basin project has met the federal environmental review requirements, and outlined new measures the railroad must take to improve safety and air quality if the pending DM&E's $2.3 billion Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan application is approved.
The release of the FRA's final environmental review marks the start of a 90-day clock in which the agency must approve or disapprove the DM&E loan application.
'The final decision will be made after thorough consideration of an extensive and independent evaluation of the railroad, the proposed project, and the RRIF loan application,' the FRA said in a statement.
If the loan is approved, the agency will require DM&E to make additional safety improvements at 10 highway-rail grade crossings in Minnesota and South Dakota to address expected increases in both highway and rail traffic. FRA will also require the locomotives used for the proposed project west of Huron, S.D., meet or exceed the Environmental Protection Agency's most stringent air pollutant emissions standards to reduce impacts on national parks.
The FRA said it considered about 2,500 public comments before reaching the conclusions in its final environmental review.