Speak Up and Oppose the Proposed Tongue River Railroad


Photo copyright Colin Ruggiero

Arch Coal wants to build a massive coal mine in the Otter Creek Valley in southeast Montana. And, in order to send that coal to other places (e.g., foreign markets), Arch Coal and BNSF Railway want to build a new railroad (the Tongue River Railroad) in the same area.

Both the proposed coal mine and the proposed railroad are horrible ideas, and we strongly oppose both proposed projects.

Right now, the Surface Transportation Board is accepting public comments on the recently released draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the proposed Tongue River Railroad.

The deadline for public comment is August 24th.

If you care about climate change, wild landscapes, and public health, please speak up and oppose the Tongue River Railroad today.

Here are some of our primary concerns over the proposed railroad that you can mention in your comments:

1. Drastic increases in train traffic, air pollution, and noise pollution.

2. Increased threats of pollution to the Tongue River and Otter Creek - as well as loss of access to these water sources, which people depend on for irrigation, recreation, and other uses.

3. The proposed railroad right of way includes culturally sensitive areas, including Tribal burial grounds.

4. Some Montana landowners could lose some of their land if the railroad is permitted.

5. Losses in recreation and hunting opportunities on public lands, including the largest block management area in the state, which would be bisected by the rail line.

Please comment today. Use the above talking points and add your own as well. You can easily submit a short comment online by clicking here.

In addition, if you're able to, please attend one of these public meetings in Montana next week:

June 8, 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm at St. Labre Indian School, 1000 Tongue River Road, Ashland, MT

June 9, 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm at Miles Community College, Room 316, 2715 Dickinson Street, Miles City, MT

June 10, 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm at Colstrip High School, 5000 Pinebutte Drive, Colstrip, MT

June 11, 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm at the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Building, Council Chambers, 600 South Cheyenne Ave, Lame Deer, MT

June 12, 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm at Forsyth High School, 917 Park Street, Forsyth, MT

While the Surface Transportation Board has denied requests to hold hearings in Bozeman, they are holding an online public hearing on June 17th. Please participate in this online hearing -- click here for registration details.

The proposed Tongue River Railroad is a huge threat to Montana. Please take a minute and speak up today.

Thank you.