Black Hills rail gets approval
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The Department of Transportation's Surface Transportation Board on Monday released a final environmental impact statement approving an expansion of a railroad through the Black Hills in South Dakota.

The board said Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad's $4.1 billion proposal to lay down almost 300 miles of new track from the Black Hills to the Powder River Basin coal mines of Wyoming and replace 600 miles of existing track in South Dakota and Minnesota would not have adverse impacts on the environment. The board gave DM&E more than 147 requirements to ensuring any affects would be mitigated.

A coalition of Indian activists and non-Indian ranchers have opposed the expansion.

Get the Story:
DM&E rail plan gets favorable review (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 11/20)
Federal regulators recommend changes for DM&E, but no bypasses (AP 11/19)

More on the Expansion:
PUBLIC NOTICE: Release of Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Notice of Public Meetings and Public Comment Period Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad’s (DM&E) Proposed Powder River Basin Expansion Project

Relevant Links:
Surface Transportation Board -
DM&E -

Related Stories:
Court battle seen over Black Hills rail (11/1)
Report due on Black Hills railroad (10/15)
Interior opposes railroad expansion (4/2)