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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 886

as introduced - 89th Legislature (2015 - 2016) Posted on 04/17/2015 08:22am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A resolution
memorializing the Surface Transportation Board to require an environmental impact
statement on construction of railroad connector track in Crystal, Minnesota, which
permits an alternative routing of unit trains transporting oil products through the
Twin Cities metropolitan area.

WHEREAS, BNSF Railway Company and Canadian Pacific railroad each own track that
intersects in the city of Crystal, Minnesota, and have commenced a project to construct connector
track at the site of the intersection; and

WHEREAS, such railroad connector track allows alternative routing of unit trains having a
total length of over one mile and carrying volatile oil products currently transported through the
Twin Cities metropolitan area; and

WHEREAS, resulting rerouting due to new railroad connector track provides a new
transportation route for unit trains carrying volatile oil products, which poses numerous
potentially negative safety and environmental effects in several cities, including Crystal, Golden
Valley, Minneapolis, New Hope, and Robbinsdale; and

WHEREAS, such effects include potential blockage of multiple adjacent at-grade
highway-rail crossings by a single unit train in the cities of Crystal and Robbinsdale, which
can result in (1) drastically reduced response capabilities of emergency first responders such as
firefighters and police due to long diversion of route, and (2) congestion; and

WHEREAS, such effects also include passage of unit trains directly adjacent to
environmentally sensitive areas including parks, trails, and wetlands; and

WHEREAS, such effects also include noise and safety impacts to residences and businesses
located adjacent to and near the track; and

WHEREAS, such effects also include an increased volume of freight rail transportation
on a new route; and

WHEREAS, such effects also include potential eminent domain takings of property; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Transportation, Surface Transportation
Board, is authorized under federal law to provide regulatory oversight of freight railroads; NOW,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it urges the Surface
Transportation Board to order the BNSF Railway Company or the Canadian Pacific railroad to
complete an environmental impact statement prior to acquiring land, completing final design,
or commencing construction of the railroad connector track.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota is
directed to prepare copies of this memorial and transmit them to the Chairman of the Surface
Transportation Board, the President of the United States, the President and the Secretary of the
United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives,
and Minnesota's Senators and Representatives in Congress.