Appeals Court Upholds STB’s DM&E Decision

WASHINGTON – The Surface Transportation Board’s decision granting final approval to Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) to construct a 280-mile rail line into Wyoming’s Powder River Basin was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (DM&E) is seeking the largest federal loan to a private company in American history — a $2.3 billion in tax money from to finance a major rail expansion project through the Midwest.

The loan guarantee from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) would allow the DM&E to expand and improve a rail line that is used primarily to transport coal from Wyoming to Minnesota.

Several parties had challenged the adequacy of the STB’s most recent environmental review in the matter. In its decision, the court rejected those challenges and upheld the Board’s decision in all respects.

“We are pleased with the court’s ruling, which is a significant step in allowing this important project to go forward,” Board Chairman Charles D. Nottingham said. “DM&E now has the opportunity to introduce additional competition and capacity into the Powder River Basin and to rehabilitate its existing line to help meet our nation’s growing freight rail needs.”

– Special to News Wire