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of Governments

Six County Association of Governments Construction and Operation

On July 30, 2001, the Six County Association of Governments (SCAOG) filed a Petition for Exemption with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) for authority to construct and operate 43.2 miles of new single-track rail line in Sanpete, Sevier, and Juab Counties, Utah. This new line would connect the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) mainline about 16 miles south of Nephi, near Juab, Utah, to a proposed coal transfer terminal facility about 0.5 mile southwest of Salina, Utah. Operations over the rail line would consist of one round trip or 2 train trips per day.

On June 29, 2007, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) was issued by the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). The Draft EIS was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Board’s regulations for implementing NEPA, the guidance provided by the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) regulations implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, and BLM’s and Corps’ regulations, policy procedures, and guidance documents.

Based on the comments received on the DEIS, OEA decided to prepare a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for public review and comment. OEA issued the SDEIS on May 2, 2014. This Supplemental Draft EIS addresses five specific matters: (1) the range of reasonable alternatives discussed in the Draft EIS, (2) evaluation of three new alternative rail routes that were not studied in detail in the Draft EIS (Alternatives B1, B2, and B3) and re-evaluation of a route dismissed in the Draft EIS (Alternative N1), (3) discussion and results of wetland investigations performed by the Applicant, (4) development of additional mitigation for the potential environmental impacts on the region’s resources from the Proposed Action, and (5) a discussion of the progress of additional efforts pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act after the Draft EIS was issued.

OEA has extended the comment period on the Draft EIS to coincide with the comment period for the Supplemental Draft EIS. OEA is providing a 45-day public comment period, which ends on June 23, 2014. After the close of the comment period on the Draft EIS and the Supplemental Draft EIS, OEA will prepare a Final EIS that considers comments received on the content and conclusions of both the Draft EIS and Supplemental Draft EIS.