Description: Challenge to STB’s approval of 280 new miles of rail lines to reach coal mines and upgrade of 600 miles of existing lines.
Mayo Foundation v. Surface Transportation Board
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/28/2006 Opinion Download Decision of the STB affirmed. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Surface Transportation Board's (STB's) approval of 280 miles of new railroad line to reach the coal mines of Wyoming's Powder River Basin, as well as upgrades to almost 600 miles of track in Minnesota and South Dakota. In 2003, the Eighth Circuit had vacated the STB's approvals, finding that its environmental review was deficient in some areas, including by failing to consider the environmental effects (including increased carbon dioxide emissions) of reasonably foreseeable increases in coal consumption resulting from the availability of a shorter, cheaper distribution route from the Powder River Basin. On remand, the STB's evaluation of such effects concluded that the impacts of this project on coal consumption and resulting air emissions would be small on a regional and national basis and that local impacts would be speculative.