Federal agencies are planning to provide only the lowest level of environmental review and the bare minimum comment period on a proposed second rail bridge on Lake Pend Oreille. Idaho, its citizens and its wildlife deserve better.
Lake Pend Oreille is Idaho’s largest and deepest lake. It is home to threatened bull trout and an entire ecosystem of aquatic life; it provides our drinking water; and it’s where we go to swim, fish, hunt, play, boat and find a small measure of peace. But just a single oil train derailment could damage and change Lake Pend Oreille forever.
In 2017 alone, four trains derailed in this area near waterways, some spilling their contents, thankfully none of which included oil. Despite these derailments, BNSF Railway is applying for state and federal permits to build a series of additional bridges, one of which will cross Lake Pend Oreille parallel to BNSF’s existing bridge that spans the lake. More bridges means more trains — more trains mean more oil, coal and other hazardous substances. These increases compromise the safety of our communities and cherished places like Lake Pend Oreille. And since these trains and their cargo are all destined for other locations, Idaho sees no benefits of the increased traffic, only delays in emergency response, more noise and more coal dust.
Use our form to submit comments to the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Tell them that this proposal requires a full environmental impact statement and an extended public comment period. To make your comments more powerful, personalize the message we provide to include your concerns about BNSF’s proposal and the Idaho resources that you feel strongly about.