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Freight Rail in Minnesota

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MnDOT Resolution Letter

 

Signed Resolution Letter Document (PDF 487 KB)

 

December 20, 2011

 

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

RESOLUTION

 

WHEREAS, a project consisting of track improvements to the existing Canadian Pacific (CP) Bass Lake Spur, CP Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern (MN&S) Spur, and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Wayzata Subdivision in the City of St. Louis Park was proposed to accommodate the relocation of the Twin Cities and Western (TC&W) freight rail traffic currently operating in the Kenilworth Corridor in Minneapolis (Proposed Freight Project); and

 

WHEREAS, the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) was the Proposer of the Proposed Freight Project, as the term “Proposer” is defined by Minn. R. 4410.0200, subp. 68 (2011); and

 

WHEREAS, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) was the Responsible Governmental Unit (RGU) for the Proposed Freight Project pursuant to Minn. R. 4410.0500, subp. 2 (2011), and as the term “RGU” is defined by Minn. R. 4410.0200, subp. 76 (2011); and

 

WHEREAS, MnDOT prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for the Proposed Freight Project pursuant to Minn. R. 4410.1400 (2011), and as the term “Environmental Assessment Worksheet” is defined by Minn. Stat. § 116D.04, subd. 1a(c) (2011) and Minn. R. 4410.0200, subp. 17 (2011); and

 

WHEREAS, MnDOT published notice of the completion of the EAW for the Proposed Freight Project and provided copies of the EAW to the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board and its member agencies, and received and responded to comments on the need for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) following publication pursuant to the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 116D.04, subd. 2a(b) (2011), Minn. R. 4410.1500 (2011); Minn. R. 4410.1600 (2011); and

 

WHEREAS, MnDOT determined that the Proposed Freight Project does not have the potential for significant environmental impact pursuant to Minn. R. 4410.1700 (2011); and

 

WHEREAS, MnDOT determined that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was not required pursuant to the Minnesota Environmental Protection Act, Minn. Stat. § 116D.01, et seq. (MEPA), and accordingly issued and distributed a Negative Declaration on June 30, 2011, pursuant to Minn. R. 4410.1700 (2011); and

 

WHEREAS, on December 19, 2011, the HCRRA Board passed a resolution determining that the Proposed Freight Project no longer warrants separate environmental analysis under state law as a standalone project and is no longer being pursued as a standalone project;

 

NOW THEREFORE, MnDOT hereby vacates the EAW for the Proposed Freight Project; and

 

NOW THEREFORE, MnDOT hereby vacates its Negative Declaration for the Proposed Freight Project; and

 

NOW THEREFORE, because the Proposed Freight Project is no longer being pursued as a standalone project by the Proposer, environmental review as a standalone project is no longer required; and

 

NOW THEREFORE, if any other project is proposed in the future, the need for a new environmental review will be evaluated in accordance with the provisions of the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act.

 

 

 

 

Frank Pafko

Chief Environmental Officer

Minnesota Department of Transportation