Monday, December 21, 2009

Army corps of Engineers approves BNSF intermodal facility permit

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The Kansas City District Corps of Engineers with cooperation from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, has concluded review of the proposed BNSF Railway Company's Intermodal Facility in Johnson County, Kansas. The Corps determined that the project is in the public interest, is the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative and will not significantly impact the human environment.

All applicable Federal and state regulations and guidelines were followed in determining that the project plus associated mitigation will not have a significant impact on any resource of concern, including local and regional air quality. Therefore, the Corps has issued a Section 404 permit to the BNSF Railway Company to construct the Intermodal Facility in waters of the United States.  The Permit Document, final Environmental Assessment, Decision Document, and all associated documentation can be found at http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/regulatory/BNSF/BNSFMainPage.htm

In a prepared statement, the railroad said: "BNSF is pleased this important environmental review process on the intermodal project has been successfully completed. The detailed information contained in this Environmental Assessment has been thoroughly prepared and studied for the past 2 and 1/2 years by the Corps of Engineers with significant review and guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency and numerous agencies from the State of Kansas, local communities and the public. The Environmental Assessment shows the project will not have a significant adverse effect on the environment. BNSF looks forward to working with the State of Kansas, Edgerton, and Johnson County to deliver this project's significant economic, environmental and energy benefits to the Kansas City region for decades to come."

Construction of the facility was postponed earlier this year due to reduced freight volumes. However, the railroad has said construction could begin in 2010 if an application for $50 million in stimulus funds is approved and al permits are granted.

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