Alaska Railroad Corporation-Construction and Operation Exemption-A Rail Line Extension to Port Mackenzie, AK
On December 5, 2008, Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) pursuant to 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) 10502 and 10901 for the authority to construct and operate approximately 30 to 45 miles of new rail line. The proposed rail line would connect the Port MacKenzie District in Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) to a point on the existing ARRC main line between Wasilla and just north of Willow, Alaska. Implementation of the proposed rail line would extend ARRC's existing freight rail service to the Port MacKenzie area, and would include construction of related structures, such as communications towers and sidings. Because construction and operation of this proposed rail line has the potential to result in significant environmental impacts, the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) and three cooperating agencies prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS). The cooperating agencies include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District; Federal Railroad Administration; and U.S. Coast Guard, Seventeenth District.