HolRail LLC-Construction and Operation Exemption-in Orangeburg and Dorchester Counties, SC, 43942-43945 [05-14923]

Download as PDF 43942 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 145 / Friday, July 29, 2005 / Notices previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register on May 17, 2005 at 70 FR 28354. That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period on the proposed reinstatement without change of this previously approved information collection. No comments were received. The purpose of the current notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment to satisfy the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3507(b). Comments are requested concerning (1) whether the particular collection of information described below is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Board’s burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, when appropriate. Submitted comments will be considered by OMB prior to approval of the proposed collection. Overview of this information collection: Title: Application to Open an Account for Billing Purposes. OMB Control Number: 2104–0006. Form Number: STB Form 1032. Number of Respondents: 20. Affected Public: Rail carriers, shippers, and others doing business before the agency. Estimated Time Per Response: Less than .08 hours. This estimate is based on actual past survey information. Frequency of Response: The form will only have to be completed once by each account holder. Total Annual Burden Hours: Less than 1.6 hours. Total Annual ‘‘Non-Hour Burden’’ Cost: No ‘‘non-hour cost’’ burdens associated with this collection have been identified. Needs and Uses: The Board is, by statute, responsible for the economic regulation of surface transportation carriers operating in interstate commerce. This form is for use by applicants who wish to open an account with the Board to charge fees for records search, review, copying, certification of records, filing fees, and related services rendered. The account holder would be billed on a monthly basis for payment of accumulated fees. Data provided will also be used for debt collection activities. The form requests information as required by OMB and U.S. Department of Treasury regulations for the collection of fees. This VerDate jul<14>2003 17:05 Jul 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 information is not duplicated by any other agency. In accordance with the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, all taxpayer identification and social security numbers will be secured and used only for credit management and debt collection activities. The information will be retained until the account holder indicates that he wishes to close the account and all debts are paid in full. Written comments are due on August 29, 2005. DATES: Written comments should be identified as ‘‘Paperwork Reduction Act Comments, Surface Transportation Board Application to Open an Account for Billing Purposes, OMB Number 2140–0006.’’ These comments should be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Surface Transportation Board Desk Officer, Room 10235, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503. ADDRESSES: For further information regarding the information collection, or for copies of the information collection form, contact Anthony Jacobik, Jr., (202) 565–1713. [Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) for the hearing impaired: (800) 877–8339.] FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Under the PRA, a Federal agency conducting or sponsoring a collection of information must display a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. Collection of information is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requirements that persons submit reports, keep records, or provide information to the agency, third parties, or the public. Section 3507(b) of the PRA requires, concurrent with an agency’s submitting a collection to OMB for approval, a 30-day notice and comment period through publication in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: July 25, 2005. Vernon A. Williams, Secretary. [FR Doc. 05–15007 Filed 7–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [STB Finance Docket No. 34421] HolRail LLC—Construction and Operation Exemption—in Orangeburg and Dorchester Counties, SC Surface Transportation Board, Transportation. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; notice of initiation of the scoping process; notice of availability of draft Scope of Study for the Environmental Impact Statement and request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: On November 13, 2003, HolRail LLC (HolRail) filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (the Board or STB) pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502 for authority to construct and operate a rail line in Orangeburg and Dorchester counties, South Carolina (SC). The proposed project would involve the construction and operation of approximately two miles of new rail line from the existing cement production factory owned by HolRail’s parent company, Holcim (US) Inc. (Holcim), located near Holly Hill in Orangeburg County, to the terminus of an existing rail line of the Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR), located to the south near Giant in Dorchester County. Because the effects of the proposed project on the quality of the human environment are likely to be controversial, the Board’s Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) has determined that the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is appropriate. The purpose of this Notice is to advise those individuals interested in or affected by the proposed project as well as agencies with special expertise or jurisdiction by law, of SEA’s decision to prepare an EIS and to initiate the formal scoping process. This Notice also announces the availability of a draft Scope of Study and requests comments on the draft Scope of Study. DATES: Comments are due by August 31, 2005. Submitting Environmental Comments: If you wish to submit written comments regarding the attached proposed draft Scope of Study, please send an original and two copies to the Surface Transportation Board, Case Control Unit, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423–0001, to the attention of David Navecky. Environmental comments may also be filed electronically on the Board’s Web site, http://www.stb.dot.gov, by clicking on the ‘‘E–FILING’’ link. Please refer to E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 145 / Friday, July 29, 2005 / Notices STB Finance Docket No. 34421 in all correspondence, including e-filings, addressed to the Board. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Navecky, Section of Environmental Analysis, Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423–0001, or (202) 565–1593, or naveckyd@stb.dot.gov. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: By petition filed on November 13, 2003, HolRail seeks an exemption from the Board under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 for authority to construct and operate a rail line in Orangeburg and Dorchester counties, SC approximately 40 miles northwest of Charleston and 60 miles southeast of Columbia. The new rail line would establish alternative rail service at the Holly Hill facility which is presently served only by CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX). Holcim recently completed an expansion of the Holly Hill plant and has determined that alternative rail access is necessary to achieve the full benefits of the expanded production capacity. HolRail would arrange for a third-party operator to provide rail service, and would employ a contractor to provide maintenance service for the line, or engage the third-party operator to perform this service. Pursuant to the Board’s responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), SEA has begun the environmental review of HolRail’s proposal by consulting with appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as HolRail, and conducting technical surveys and analyses. SEA has also consulted with the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in accordance with the regulations implementing section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) at 36 CFR part 800 and identified appropriate consulting parties to the section 106 process. Based on the nature and content of the public and agency comments received, SEA has determined that the effects of the proposed project on the quality of the human environment are likely to be controversial, and that thus, preparation of an EIS is appropriate. At this point in the environmental review process, SEA intends to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the proposed route, the no-action or nobuild alternative (i.e., continuing to use VerDate jul<14>2003 17:05 Jul 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 of the CSX line), and at least one alternative route. SEA welcomes comments on these or additional alternatives. Environmental Review Process: The NEPA process is intended to assist the Board and the public in identifying and assessing the potential environmental consequences of a proposed action before a decision on the proposed action is made. SEA is responsible for ensuring that the Board complies with NEPA and related environmental statutes. The first stage of the EIS process is scoping. Scoping is an open process for determining the scope of environmental issues to be addressed in the EIS. SEA has developed a draft Scope of Study for the EIS for public review and comment, which incorporates the issues and concerns raised in the comment letters SEA has received thus far. SEA is soliciting written comments on this draft Scope of Study. After the close of the comment period on the draft Scope of Study on August 31, 2005, SEA will review all comments received and then issue a final Scope of Study for the EIS. Following the issuance of the final Scope of Study, SEA will prepare a Draft EIS (DEIS) for the project. The DEIS will address those environmental issues and concerns identified during the scoping process. It will also contain SEA’s preliminary recommendations for environmental mitigation measures. Upon its completion, the DEIS will be made available for public and agency review and comment for at least 45 days. SEA will then prepare a Final EIS (FEIS) that addresses the comments on the DEIS from the public and agencies. Then, in reaching its decision in this case, the Board will take into account the DEIS, the FEIS, and all environmental comments that are received. Draft Scope of Study for the EIS Proposed Action and Alternatives The proposed project would provide alternative rail access to the Holcim facility, which is currently only served by CSX. The existing CSX line begins at the terminus of an NSR rail line at Giant, SC, passes to the immediate west of the Holcim facility, and continues on to Creston, SC. The proposed action would involve the construction and operation of an approximately 2-mile rail line that would also begin at the terminus of the NSR line at Giant, SC and end at the Holcim facility. HolRail proposes two potential alignments, both of which are on the east side of and parallel to the existing CSX line across Four Hole swamp. Alignment A would involve PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43943 constructing the new rail line largely within the existing ROW of the CSX rail line. Alignment B would be constructed approximately 50 yards east of the CSX ROW, on property almost entirely owned by Holcim. Either alignment would connect with NSR to the south on land owned by a neighboring cement facility, over which HolRail intends to obtain access by easement or other arrangement. HolRail intends to construct and own the track, which would be a part of the common carrier rail network. HolRail would arrange for a third-party operator to provide rail service. HolRail would also employ a contractor to provide maintenance service for the line, or engage the third-party operator to perform this service. Environmental Impact Analysis Proposed New Construction The EIS will document the activities associated with the construction and operation of the proposed new rail line. Impact Categories Impact areas addressed in the EIS will include the effects of the proposed construction and operation of the new rail line on transportation and traffic safety, public health and worker health and safety, water resources, biological resources, air quality, geology and soils, land use, environmental justice, noise, vibration, recreation and visual resources, cultural resources, and socioeconomics. The EIS will include a discussion of each of these categories as they currently exist in the project area and will address the potential impacts from the proposed project on each category, as described below: 1. Transportation and Traffic Safety The EIS will: a. Describe the potential impacts of the proposed new rail line construction and operation on the existing transportation network in the project area. b. Describe the potential for train derailments or accidents from proposed rail operations. c. Describe potential pipeline safety issues at rail/pipeline crossings, as appropriate. d. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts to transportation and traffic safety, as appropriate. 2. Public Health and Worker Health and Safety The EIS will: a. Describe potential public health impacts from the proposed new rail line construction and operation. E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1 43944 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 145 / Friday, July 29, 2005 / Notices b. Describe potential impacts to worker health and safety from the proposed new rail line construction and operation. c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts to public health and worker health and safety, as appropriate. b. Describe the potential impacts to soils and geologic features from the proposed new rail line construction and operation. c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts on soils and geologic features, as appropriate. 3. Water Resources The EIS will: a. Describe the existing groundwater resources within the project area, such as aquifers and springs, and the potential impacts on these resources resulting from construction and operation of the proposed new rail line. b. Describe the existing surface water resources within the project area, including watersheds, streams, rivers, and creeks, and the potential impacts on these resources resulting from construction and operation of the proposed new rail line. c. Describe existing wetlands in the project area and the potential impacts on these resources resulting from construction and operation of the proposed new rail line. d. Describe the permitting requirements that are appropriate for the proposed new rail line construction and operation regarding wetlands, stream crossings (including floodplains), water quality, and erosion control. e. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts to water resources, as appropriate. 7. Land Use 4. Biological Resources The EIS will: a. Describe the existing biological resources within the project area, including vegetative communities, wildlife and fisheries, and Federal and State threatened or endangered species and the potential impacts to these resources resulting from the proposed new rail line construction and operation. b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts to biological resources, as appropriate. 9. Noise 5. Air Quality Impacts The EIS will: a. Describe the potential air quality impacts resulting from the proposed new rail line construction and operation. b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts to air quality, as appropriate. 6. Geology and Soils The EIS will: a. Describe the native soils and geology of the proposed project area. VerDate jul<14>2003 17:05 Jul 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 The EIS will: a. Describe existing land use patterns within the project area and identify those land uses that would be potentially impacted by the proposed new rail line construction and operation. b. Describe the potential impacts associated with the proposed new rail line construction and operation to land uses identified within the project area. c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts to land use, as appropriate. 8. Environmental Justice The EIS will: a. Describe the demographics of the communities potentially impacted by the construction and operation of the proposed new rail line. b. Evaluate whether new rail line construction or operation would have a disproportionately high adverse impact on any minority or low-income group. c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts on environmental justice communities of concern, as appropriate. The EIS will: a. Describe the existing noise environment of the project area and potential noise impacts from the proposed new rail line construction and operation. b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts to noise receptors, as appropriate. 10. Vibration The EIS will: a. Describe the potential vibration impacts from the proposed new rail line construction and operation. b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts from vibration, as appropriate. 11. Recreation and Visual Resources The EIS will: a. Describe existing recreation and visual resources in the proposed project area and potential impacts to recreation and visual resources from construction and operation of the proposed new rail line. PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts to recreation and visual resources, as appropriate. 12. Cultural Resources The EIS will: a. Describe the cultural resources in the area of the proposed project and potential impacts to cultural resources from the proposed new rail line construction and operation. b. Describe the NHPA Section 106 process for the proposed project, and propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project impacts to cultural resources, as appropriate. 13. Socioeconomics The EIS will: a. Describe the demographic characteristics of the project area. b. Describe the potential environmental impacts to employment and the local economy as a result of the proposed new rail line construction and operation. c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential project adverse impacts to socioeconomic resources, as appropriate. 14. Cumulative and Indirect Impacts The EIS will: a. Address any identified potential cumulative impacts of the proposed new rail line construction and operation, as appropriate. Cumulative impacts are the impacts on the environment which result from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency (Federal or non-Federal) or person undertakes such actions. b. Address any identified potential indirect impacts of the proposed new rail line construction and operation, as appropriate. Indirect impacts are impacts that are caused by the action and are later in time or farther removed in distance, but are still reasonably foreseeable. Decided: July 21, 2005. By the Board, Victoria Rutson, Chief, Section of Environmental Analysis. Vernon A. Williams, Secretary. [FR Doc. 05–14923 Filed 7–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–00–P E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 145 / Friday, July 29, 2005 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [STB Finance Docket No. 34705 (Sub–No. 1)] Soo Line Railroad Company D/B/A Canadian Pacific Railway—Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption—BNSF Railway Company BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) has agreed to grant temporary overhead trackage rights to expire on August 31, 2005, to Soo Line Railroad Company d/ b/a Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) over BNSF’s rail line between Ardoch, ND, and Erskine, MN, as follows: (1) From Ardoch at BNSF milepost 24.5 to Grand Forks, ND, at BNSF milepost 0.0, (2) from Grand Forks at BNSF milepost 109.9 to Crookston Junction, MN, at BNSF milepost 80.9, and (3) from Crookston Junction at BNSF milepost 0.0 to Erskine at BNSF milepost 31.5, a total distance of approximately 84.6 miles. The original temporary trackage rights granted in Soo Line Railroad Company D/B/A Canadian Pacific Railway— Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption—BNSF Railway Company, STB Finance Docket No. 34705 (STB served June 10, 2005), covered the same line, but are due to expire on July 31, 2005. The purpose of this transaction is to modify the temporary trackage rights exempted in STB Finance Docket No. 34705 to extend the expiration date from July 31, 2005, to August 31, 2005, because of delayed start-up of the maintenance project due to high water conditions. The transaction is scheduled to be consummated on July 31, 2005. The modified temporary trackage rights will permit CPR to continue to bridge its train service while the main lines of its affiliated shortline railroad are out of service due to certain programmed track, roadbed and structural maintenance. As a condition to this exemption, any employees affected by the acquisition of the temporary trackage rights will be protected by the conditions imposed in Norfolk and Western Ry. Co.—Trackage Rights—BN, 354 I.C.C. 605 (1978), as modified in Mendocino Coast Ry., Inc.— Lease and Operate, 360 I.C.C. 653 (1980), and any employees affected by the discontinuance of those trackage rights will be protected by the conditions set out in Oregon Short Line R. Co.—Abandonment—Goshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). This notice is filed under 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(8). If it contains false or misleading information, the exemption VerDate jul<14>2003 17:05 Jul 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the transaction. An original and 10 copies of all pleadings, referring to STB Finance Docket No. 34705 (Sub-No. 1), must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423–0001. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on Thanh G. Bui, 150 South Fifth Street, Suite 2300, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at http:// www.stb.dot.gov. Decided: July 25, 2005. By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings. Vernon A. Williams, Secretary. [FR Doc. 05–15008 Filed 7–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 43945 If the notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the transaction. An original and 10 copies of all pleadings, referring to STB Finance Docket No. 34716, must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423– 0001. In addition, one copy of each pleading must be served on Ronald A. Lane, Fletcher & Sippel LLC, 29 North Wacker Drive, Suite 920, Chicago, IL 60606–2832. Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at http:// www.stb.dot.gov. Decided: July 22, 2005. By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings. Vernon A. Williams, Secretary. [FR Doc. 05–15009 Filed 7–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P Surface Transportation Board [STB Finance Docket No. 34716] R.J. Corman Railroad Company/ Bardstown Line, d/b/a R.J. Corman Railroad Company/WV Lines—Lease and Operation Exemption—Line of R.J. Corman Railroad Property, LLC R.J. Corman Railroad Company/ Bardstown Line, d/b/a R.J. Corman Railroad Company/WV Lines (RJCV), a Class III rail carrier,1 has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41 to lease from R.J. Corman Railroad Property, LLC (Railroad Property) and operate a line of railroad (the Loup Creek Branch) extending from milepost 0.0 at Thurmond, WV, to milepost 12.0 at Mt. Hope, WV, a distance of approximately 12 miles. This transaction is related to STB Finance Docket No. 34715, R.J. Corman Railroad Property, LLC—Acquisition Exemption—Line of The Railroad Co. and The WV Southern Railway Co., in which Railroad Property seeks to acquire the Loup Creek Branch. RJCV certifies that the projected annual revenues as a result of this transaction will not result in the creation of a Class II or Class I rail carrier, and further certifies that its projected annual revenues will not exceed $5 million. The transaction was scheduled to be consummated on July 8, 2005. 1 RJCV is controlled by Richard J. Corman, who also controls eight other Class III rail carriers in the eastern United States. PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [STB Finance Docket No. 34715] R.J. Corman Railroad Property, LLC— Acquisition Exemption—Line of The Railroad Co. and The WV Southern Railway Co. R.J. Corman Railroad Property, LLC (Railroad Property),1 a Class III rail carrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41 to acquire from The Railroad Co. (RRC) and The WV Southern Railway Co. (WVSR), a line of railroad (the Loup Creek Branch) extending from milepost 0.0 at Thurmond, WV, to milepost 12.0 at Mt. Hope, WV, a distance of approximately 12 miles. The Loup Creek Branch is currently owned by RRC and operated by WVSR, a wholly owned subsidiary of RRC.2 1 Railroad Property is a member of the R.J. Corman family of nine Class III railroads. Railroad Property was formerly known as R.J. Corman Equipment Company, LLC. The name of that entity was formally changed to R.J. Corman Railroad Property, LLC, and its non-rail assets were transferred to a new noncarrier entity named R.J. Corman Equipment Company. As a result, the new ‘‘Equipment Company’’ does not own any railroad assets, and Railroad Property holds the railroad assets and bears the residual common carrier obligations of the ‘‘old’’ R.J. Corman Equipment Company, LLC. 2 According to Railroad Property, it has reached an agreement with RRC, WVSR and CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT), the former owner of the Loup Creek Branch, for transfer of the Loup E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM Continued 29JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 145 (Friday, July 29, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43942-43945]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-14923]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board

[STB Finance Docket No. 34421]


HolRail LLC--Construction and Operation Exemption--in Orangeburg 
and Dorchester Counties, SC

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board, Transportation.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; 
notice of initiation of the scoping process; notice of availability of 
draft Scope of Study for the Environmental Impact Statement and request 
for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On November 13, 2003, HolRail LLC (HolRail) filed a petition 
with the Surface Transportation Board (the Board or STB) pursuant to 49 
U.S.C. 10502 for authority to construct and operate a rail line in 
Orangeburg and Dorchester counties, South Carolina (SC). The proposed 
project would involve the construction and operation of approximately 
two miles of new rail line from the existing cement production factory 
owned by HolRail's parent company, Holcim (US) Inc. (Holcim), located 
near Holly Hill in Orangeburg County, to the terminus of an existing 
rail line of the Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR), located to the 
south near Giant in Dorchester County.
    Because the effects of the proposed project on the quality of the 
human environment are likely to be controversial, the Board's Section 
of Environmental Analysis (SEA) has determined that the preparation of 
an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is appropriate. The purpose of 
this Notice is to advise those individuals interested in or affected by 
the proposed project as well as agencies with special expertise or 
jurisdiction by law, of SEA's decision to prepare an EIS and to 
initiate the formal scoping process. This Notice also announces the 
availability of a draft Scope of Study and requests comments on the 
draft Scope of Study.

DATES: Comments are due by August 31, 2005.
    Submitting Environmental Comments: If you wish to submit written 
comments regarding the attached proposed draft Scope of Study, please 
send an original and two copies to the Surface Transportation Board, 
Case Control Unit, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001, to 
the attention of David Navecky. Environmental comments may also be 
filed electronically on the Board's Web site, http://www.stb.dot.gov, 
by clicking on the ``E-FILING'' link. Please refer to

[[Page 43943]]

STB Finance Docket No. 34421 in all correspondence, including e-
filings, addressed to the Board.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Navecky, Section of 
Environmental Analysis, Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, 
NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001, or (202) 565-1593, or 
naveckyd@stb.dot.gov. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available 
through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: By petition filed on November 
13, 2003, HolRail seeks an exemption from the Board under 49 U.S.C. 
10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 for 
authority to construct and operate a rail line in Orangeburg and 
Dorchester counties, SC approximately 40 miles northwest of Charleston 
and 60 miles southeast of Columbia.
    The new rail line would establish alternative rail service at the 
Holly Hill facility which is presently served only by CSX 
Transportation, Inc. (CSX). Holcim recently completed an expansion of 
the Holly Hill plant and has determined that alternative rail access is 
necessary to achieve the full benefits of the expanded production 
capacity. HolRail would arrange for a third-party operator to provide 
rail service, and would employ a contractor to provide maintenance 
service for the line, or engage the third-party operator to perform 
this service.
    Pursuant to the Board's responsibilities under the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), SEA has begun the environmental review 
of HolRail's proposal by consulting with appropriate Federal, State, 
and local agencies, as well as HolRail, and conducting technical 
surveys and analyses. SEA has also consulted with the South Carolina 
State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in accordance with the 
regulations implementing section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act (NHPA) at 36 CFR part 800 and identified appropriate 
consulting parties to the section 106 process.
    Based on the nature and content of the public and agency comments 
received, SEA has determined that the effects of the proposed project 
on the quality of the human environment are likely to be controversial, 
and that thus, preparation of an EIS is appropriate. At this point in 
the environmental review process, SEA intends to analyze the potential 
environmental impacts of the proposed route, the no-action or no-build 
alternative (i.e., continuing to use of the CSX line), and at least one 
alternative route. SEA welcomes comments on these or additional 
alternatives.
    Environmental Review Process: The NEPA process is intended to 
assist the Board and the public in identifying and assessing the 
potential environmental consequences of a proposed action before a 
decision on the proposed action is made. SEA is responsible for 
ensuring that the Board complies with NEPA and related environmental 
statutes. The first stage of the EIS process is scoping. Scoping is an 
open process for determining the scope of environmental issues to be 
addressed in the EIS. SEA has developed a draft Scope of Study for the 
EIS for public review and comment, which incorporates the issues and 
concerns raised in the comment letters SEA has received thus far. SEA 
is soliciting written comments on this draft Scope of Study. After the 
close of the comment period on the draft Scope of Study on August 31, 
2005, SEA will review all comments received and then issue a final 
Scope of Study for the EIS.
    Following the issuance of the final Scope of Study, SEA will 
prepare a Draft EIS (DEIS) for the project. The DEIS will address those 
environmental issues and concerns identified during the scoping 
process. It will also contain SEA's preliminary recommendations for 
environmental mitigation measures. Upon its completion, the DEIS will 
be made available for public and agency review and comment for at least 
45 days. SEA will then prepare a Final EIS (FEIS) that addresses the 
comments on the DEIS from the public and agencies. Then, in reaching 
its decision in this case, the Board will take into account the DEIS, 
the FEIS, and all environmental comments that are received.

Draft Scope of Study for the EIS

Proposed Action and Alternatives

    The proposed project would provide alternative rail access to the 
Holcim facility, which is currently only served by CSX. The existing 
CSX line begins at the terminus of an NSR rail line at Giant, SC, 
passes to the immediate west of the Holcim facility, and continues on 
to Creston, SC. The proposed action would involve the construction and 
operation of an approximately 2-mile rail line that would also begin at 
the terminus of the NSR line at Giant, SC and end at the Holcim 
facility.
    HolRail proposes two potential alignments, both of which are on the 
east side of and parallel to the existing CSX line across Four Hole 
swamp. Alignment A would involve constructing the new rail line largely 
within the existing ROW of the CSX rail line. Alignment B would be 
constructed approximately 50 yards east of the CSX ROW, on property 
almost entirely owned by Holcim. Either alignment would connect with 
NSR to the south on land owned by a neighboring cement facility, over 
which HolRail intends to obtain access by easement or other 
arrangement.
    HolRail intends to construct and own the track, which would be a 
part of the common carrier rail network. HolRail would arrange for a 
third-party operator to provide rail service. HolRail would also employ 
a contractor to provide maintenance service for the line, or engage the 
third-party operator to perform this service.

Environmental Impact Analysis

Proposed New Construction

    The EIS will document the activities associated with the 
construction and operation of the proposed new rail line.

Impact Categories

    Impact areas addressed in the EIS will include the effects of the 
proposed construction and operation of the new rail line on 
transportation and traffic safety, public health and worker health and 
safety, water resources, biological resources, air quality, geology and 
soils, land use, environmental justice, noise, vibration, recreation 
and visual resources, cultural resources, and socioeconomics. The EIS 
will include a discussion of each of these categories as they currently 
exist in the project area and will address the potential impacts from 
the proposed project on each category, as described below:
1. Transportation and Traffic Safety
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the potential impacts of the proposed new rail line 
construction and operation on the existing transportation network in 
the project area.
    b. Describe the potential for train derailments or accidents from 
proposed rail operations.
    c. Describe potential pipeline safety issues at rail/pipeline 
crossings, as appropriate.
    d. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts to transportation and traffic safety, as appropriate.
2. Public Health and Worker Health and Safety
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe potential public health impacts from the proposed new 
rail line construction and operation.

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    b. Describe potential impacts to worker health and safety from the 
proposed new rail line construction and operation.
    c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts to public health and worker health and safety, as 
appropriate.
3. Water Resources
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the existing groundwater resources within the project 
area, such as aquifers and springs, and the potential impacts on these 
resources resulting from construction and operation of the proposed new 
rail line.
    b. Describe the existing surface water resources within the project 
area, including watersheds, streams, rivers, and creeks, and the 
potential impacts on these resources resulting from construction and 
operation of the proposed new rail line.
    c. Describe existing wetlands in the project area and the potential 
impacts on these resources resulting from construction and operation of 
the proposed new rail line.
    d. Describe the permitting requirements that are appropriate for 
the proposed new rail line construction and operation regarding 
wetlands, stream crossings (including floodplains), water quality, and 
erosion control.
    e. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts to water resources, as appropriate.
4. Biological Resources
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the existing biological resources within the project 
area, including vegetative communities, wildlife and fisheries, and 
Federal and State threatened or endangered species and the potential 
impacts to these resources resulting from the proposed new rail line 
construction and operation.
    b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts to biological resources, as appropriate.
5. Air Quality Impacts
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the potential air quality impacts resulting from the 
proposed new rail line construction and operation.
    b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts to air quality, as appropriate.
6. Geology and Soils
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the native soils and geology of the proposed project 
area.
    b. Describe the potential impacts to soils and geologic features 
from the proposed new rail line construction and operation.
    c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts on soils and geologic features, as appropriate.
7. Land Use
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe existing land use patterns within the project area and 
identify those land uses that would be potentially impacted by the 
proposed new rail line construction and operation.
    b. Describe the potential impacts associated with the proposed new 
rail line construction and operation to land uses identified within the 
project area.
    c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts to land use, as appropriate.
8. Environmental Justice
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the demographics of the communities potentially 
impacted by the construction and operation of the proposed new rail 
line.
    b. Evaluate whether new rail line construction or operation would 
have a disproportionately high adverse impact on any minority or low-
income group.
    c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts on environmental justice communities of concern, as 
appropriate.
9. Noise
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the existing noise environment of the project area and 
potential noise impacts from the proposed new rail line construction 
and operation.
    b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts to noise receptors, as appropriate.
10. Vibration
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the potential vibration impacts from the proposed new 
rail line construction and operation.
    b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts from vibration, as appropriate.
11. Recreation and Visual Resources
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe existing recreation and visual resources in the 
proposed project area and potential impacts to recreation and visual 
resources from construction and operation of the proposed new rail 
line.
    b. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts to recreation and visual resources, as appropriate.
12. Cultural Resources
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the cultural resources in the area of the proposed 
project and potential impacts to cultural resources from the proposed 
new rail line construction and operation.
    b. Describe the NHPA Section 106 process for the proposed project, 
and propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project impacts to cultural resources, as appropriate.
13. Socioeconomics
    The EIS will:
    a. Describe the demographic characteristics of the project area.
    b. Describe the potential environmental impacts to employment and 
the local economy as a result of the proposed new rail line 
construction and operation.
    c. Propose mitigative measures to minimize or eliminate potential 
project adverse impacts to socioeconomic resources, as appropriate.
14. Cumulative and Indirect Impacts
    The EIS will:
    a. Address any identified potential cumulative impacts of the 
proposed new rail line construction and operation, as appropriate. 
Cumulative impacts are the impacts on the environment which result from 
the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, 
and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency 
(Federal or non-Federal) or person undertakes such actions.
    b. Address any identified potential indirect impacts of the 
proposed new rail line construction and operation, as appropriate. 
Indirect impacts are impacts that are caused by the action and are 
later in time or farther removed in distance, but are still reasonably 
foreseeable.

    Decided: July 21, 2005.

    By the Board, Victoria Rutson, Chief, Section of Environmental 
Analysis.
Vernon A. Williams,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 05-14923 Filed 7-28-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-00-P