On October 16, 2012, Tongue River Railroad Company, Inc. (TRRC) filed a revised application with the Surface Transportation Board (Board). TRRC intended to construct and operate an approximately 83-mile rail line between Miles City, Montana, and two ending points, one near the site of the previously planned Montco mine near Ashland, Montana, and another at the proposed Otter Creek mine in the Otter Creek area east of Ashland, Montana. On December 17, 2012, TRRC filed a supplemental application with the Board, in which TRRC changed its preferred alignment from the 83-mile Tongue River Alternative to the 42-mile Colstrip Alternative. TRRC's new preferred Colstrip Alternative would generally parallel Greenleaf Road (S-447) rather than follow Roe & Cooper Creek. Because the construction and operation of this project has the potential to result in significant environmental impacts, the Board's Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) has determined that the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is appropriate pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 et seq.).
- The 2013 field season field surveys have been completed. Thanks to area landowners, we were able to conduct important field surveys that we will use in the Environmental Impact Statement.
- OEA is currently conducting analyses and drafting chapters of the Environmental Impact Statement.
- OEA expects to issue the Draft Environmental Impact Statement in the summer of 2014. Public meetings at dates to be announced next summer will follow the release of this document.