Walz Asks U.S. Army Corps for Environmental Impact Study
Washington, DC [2/19/15] – Today, Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) announced that he sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to support a thorough environmental analysis of BNSF Railway’s proposed expansion project in La Crosse, WI along the Mississippi River. Walz is eager to improve safety and relieve rail congestion, as the BNSF expansion project is intended to provide. He also wants to be certain our natural state treasures are protected to ensure the next generation can enjoy the great outdoors as we do today.
“This expansion project will help relieve congested railways and improve shipping safety, but we have an obligation to ensure our natural state treasures, like the mighty Mississippi, are protected as well,” said Representative Walz. “That’s why I wrote this letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, asking them to simply consider the potential cumulative impacts that a project like this could have on our shared waterways and, potentially, our outdoor economy.”
Please see below for the text of the full letter:
Mr. David Studenski
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
180 Fifth Street East, Suite 700
Saint Paul, MN 55101-1678
Dear Mr. Studenski,
I write to express my support of a thorough environmental analysis of BNSF Railway’s proposal to expand track in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Specifically, I support the completion of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in consideration of granting a Section 404 permit.
Though the City of La Crosse is not within my jurisdiction, the effects of BNSF’s expansion project have implications for the citizens and environment of Minnesota’s First Congressional District. Given the severity of recent freight train derailments in Canada and throughout the U.S. – thereby introducing materials like crude oil into the natural environment – I, like Representative Ron Kind, Senator Tammy Baldwin, and a number of other Minnesotan and Wisconsin state representatives, want to ensure that the USACE fully considers the secondary and cumulative impacts of this and all future projects involving the Upper Mississippi River Basin.
As a strong advocate for rail safety issues and environmental policies that affect my constituents and the entire country, I encourage the Army Corps to consider all possible consequences of a track expansion along the La Crosse River Marsh.
Thank you for consideration of this request.