Environmental Matters > Key Cases
RJ Corman Railroad Company/Pennsylvania Lines
R.J. Corman Railroad Company/Pennsylvania Lines Inc., Construction and Operation, Abstract
On May 20, 2008, R.J. Corman Railroad Company/Pennsylvania Lines Inc. (RJCP) filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (Board), pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 10502 and 49 C.F.R. § 1121, for exemption from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. § 10901 to construct and operate an abandoned 10.8-mile rail line between Wallaceton and Winburne in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania (the Western Segment) and to reactivate a connecting 9.3-mile portion of rail line between Winburne and Gorton in Clearfield and Centre Counties, Pennsylvania (the Eastern Segment) that is currently being used for interim trail use, subject to the possible restoration of rail service (rail banking) pursuant to the Trails Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1247(d). In total, the proposed project would involve the construction, operation, and reactivation of approximately 20 miles of rail line to serve a new waste-to-ethanol facility, quarry, and industrial park being developed by Resource Recovery, LLC, near Gorton, Pennsylvania.
The Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) announces the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed rail line project. OEA has prepared the FEIS in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration.
The FEIS is based on OEA’s independent analyses, consultations with agencies, elected officials, organizations, and members of the public, and careful consideration of all comments received in response to both the Draft EIS (DEIS), issued on July 23, 2010, and the Supplemental Draft EIS (SDEIS), issued on March 4, 2011. The FEIS contains detailed responses to comments received on the DEIS and SDEIS, OEA’s final recommendations for mitigating potential environmental impacts, and OEA’s recommendation for the preferred alternative. Should the Board approve the proposed rail line, OEA recommends that it authorize the Modified Proposed Action build alternative, subject to OEA’s final environmental mitigation set forth in the FEIS.
To view the FEIS, click here.
The FEIS, which is organized in a manner that is consistent with Council on Environmental Quality regulations, is intended to be read in conjunction with the DEIS and SDEIS. The DEIS evaluated the potential environmental impacts that could result from RJCP’s proposed rail line construction, operation, and reactivation and recommended mitigation that could be undertaken to reduce potential impacts identified. The SDEIS addressed several changes in the project that had taken place since the preparation of the DEIS. The SDEIS focused on three specific matters: 1) the potential environmental impacts associated with RJCP’s proposed transport of ethanol, a regulated hazardous material, over the rail line, 2) the change in the preliminary plan approval status of the No-Build Alternative – Local Road System Upgrade (Black Rock Road), and 3) the results of the 2010 summer field survey for Branching Bur-reed (Sparganium androcladum), a Pennsylvania Endangered Species.
To view the DEIS, click here.
To view the SDEIS, click here.
OEA has distributed the FEIS to all parties of record, including key governmental agencies and other appropriate entities. OEA has made the FEIS available for review in the Clearfield County Public Library in Curwensville, PA, the Osceola Mills Public Library in Osceola Mills, PA, the Shaw Public Library in Clearfield, PA, the Centre County Public Library in Bellefonte, PA, and the Holt Memorial Library in Philipsburg, PA.Issuance of the FEIS completes the Board’s environmental review process. The Board will now make a final decision on the proposed project. In making its final decision, the Board will consider the entire environmental record, including all public comments, the DEIS, the SDEIS, the FEIS, and OEA’s final recommended mitigation.