Federal Railroad Administration finds ‘no significant impact’ on environmental assessment of Minneapolis to Duluth high-speed rail
Project proceeds to preliminary engineering
ST. PAUL, Minn. –The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact on the Tier 1 Service Level Environmental Assessment for the Northern Lights Express High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Project between Minneapolis and Duluth.
FRA’s issuance of a FONSI on Aug. 21 means that the NLX Project will not have significant environmental impacts and, therefore, can proceed to the preliminary engineering and Tier 2 project level environmental documentation phase.
The Tier 1 EA examined the 155-mile project corridor for social, economic and environmental impacts. The proposed project includes constructing necessary infrastructure for a high-speed intercity passenger rail service between Minneapolis and Duluth, Minn., a portion of which travels through Douglas County in Wisconsin. Trains will reach speeds up to 110 miles per hour.
The Tier 1 EA was made available for public comment in spring 2013. The FRA took those comments into consideration in preparing the FONSI, which is available at www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0624.
Under the state environmental review process, MnDOT, serving as the responsible governmental unit, also has issued a Findings of Fact and Conclusion and a Negative Declaration, indicating that a state Environmental Impact Statement is not required. The state documents are available at www.mndot.gov/nlx.
Tier 2 project level environmental documentation and preliminary engineering will proceed during the next two years.