Friday, June 10, 2016

GLB RR: Notice of Extension of Comment Period for the Draft Scope of Study to July 15






Decided: June 10, 2016

Notice of Extension of Comment Period for the Draft Scope of Study

The Surface Transportation Board's (Board) Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a Draft Scope of Study, and a notice of scoping meetings in the above-captioned proceeding on March 18, 2016 and published it in the Federal Register on the same day. In the NOI, OEA invited public comments on the Draft Scope of Study, potential alternative routes for the proposed rail line, and environmental issues and concerns by May 16, 2016. In response to a number of comments and the extensive scope of the proposed construction, OEA issued a Notice on April 8, 2016 to advise the public and all interested parties that the comment period would be extended until June 15, 2016. OEA has received a number of requests for a further extension of the comment period and is issuing today's Notice to advise the public and all interested parties that the comment period will be extended again an additional 30 days. Comments are now due by July 15, 2016. No further extensions of time will be granted.

OEA will issue a Final Scope of Study for the EIS after the close of the scoping comment period. Any comments previously submitted on the NOI and Draft Scope of Study need not be resubmitted.

Scoping comments may be submitted electronically on the Board's website, by clicking on the "E-FILING"link on the homepage and then selecting "Environmental Comments." Please refer to Docket No. FD 35952 in all correspondence, including e-filings, addressed to the Board. Scoping comments are now due by July 15, 2016.

Project specific information may be found on the Board's website at "Environmental Matters," then click on the "Key Cases" button in the dropdown menu and then select "Great Lakes Basin." For additional information about the Board's environmental review process and this EIS, you may also visit a Board-sponsored project website at website for the Board is

By the Board, Victoria Rutson, Director, Office of Environmental Analysis.

The actual decision is available at:

RMAP drafts letter in support of Great Lakes Basin Railroad


What is the position of Boone County on the Great Lake Basis RR?  It appears that Chairman Walberg wants to “eat his cake and have it too”.

To see the actual RMAP letter go to:$file/RMAP%20Great%20Lakes%20Basin%20Railroad%20Letter_201606100948.pdf




By Adam Poulisse
Staff writer

Posted Jun. 10, 2016 at 7:58 PM

ROCKFORD — A regional planning organization has put its support behind the proposed Great Lakes Basin Railroad, but says more information on the project is needed.
Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning, better known as RMAP, voted 5-0-1 Thursday to send a letter to the Surface Transportation Board that supports the rail line.
"We agree with the project concept," the two-page letter drafter today reads, "but do not have enough information from GLBRR to fully understand how the current route will affect the existing transportation, agricultural land use, and environmental asset-mapping plans for the region."
Belvidere Mayor Mike Chamberlain, Machesney Park Village President Jerry Bolin, Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg, Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen and Rockfort City Administrator Jim Ryan — in Mayor Larry Morrissey's stead — all approved the letter. Boone County Board Chairman Bob Walberg abstained.
The two-page letter states that the 278-mile railroad, which would transport cargo around Chicago traffic and include a spur to the Chicago Rockford International Airport, would address key economic development needs in the region.
It also states the agency is "particularly interested in discussing adjustments to the proposed route that garner the largest cross-section of public support."
"We believe the final route needs to take into account the many interests that benefit from and can be affected by a project of this scale," the letter reads.
Though Walberg voted to approve a letter of opposition during a Boone County Board meeting last month, he abstained from Thursday's vote because the letter was more opinion-based, whereas the County Board's opposition was based on research and a series of meetings that collected public input, he said.
"I felt it's what I should do," Walberg said. "I'm real sensitive about it and wouldn't want to abuse my position being chairman of the County Board."
The railroad, in its current incarnation, would cut directly through Boone County and disrupt personal property and farmland. It's received staunch opposition from officials and citizens alike, some of whom have banded together to let their voice be heard.
Cathy Ward, a District 2 board member, said she disagreed with RMAP drafting the letter without having all the information.
"I am very concerned that RMAP ... would vote to support this railroad even though they need more information. If they need more information, why not wait until they had all the information to vote on this."
Morrissey, who was out of town, said his administration generally "favors a route through Winnebago County, as opposed to the proposed Boone County route."

"We believe this would create better economic opportunities for our area as it would more directly connect with our airport and other industrial opportunities," he said via email.


Above is from:

House Democrats committed to compromise, but question Rauner’s refusal to fund vital needs


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –(ENEWSPF)–June 8, 2016.  House Speaker Michael Madigan released a statement following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s press conference Wednesday on the state budget:

“While Governor Rauner continues his campaign-style tour, laden with personal attacks against those with whom he says he wants to work cooperatively, we remain committed to finding a solution to the state budget crisis, including a temporary budget to ensure schools open on time.

“There are very real concerns within our caucus about the governor’s proposal that need to be answered. By not funding many critical programs and services, the governor is putting office supplies ahead of cancer prevention. He refuses to fund grants for college students in financial need, which would kick many students out of school. In his plan, the governor refuses to fund life-saving breast cancer screenings for women and programs for domestic violence and sexual assault victims. The governor’s plan fails to fund programs that provide care to frail elderly residents.

“The governor wants to fund many operations of state government, including the state’s vehicle fleet and office supplies instead of providing life-saving services for Illinoisans. We, and the people of Illinois that we serve, have very serious concerns with the governor refusing to fund these programs in his proposal. We are committed to negotiating with the governor to fund these programs within the temporary budget, but many questions remain.”

Source: Speaker Madigan’s Office

Above is from: