Court Pauses Uinta Basin Railway Project That Would Ship Oil Through Colorado

"A federal board erred when it gave approval to a railway project in eastern Utah that could ship billions of gallons of crude oil along the Colorado River, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on Friday.

The Uinta Basin Railway project would have connected oil drilling in Utah with major rail networks with 88 miles of new tracks. The project drew widespread criticism from environmental groups, local officials in Colorado and U.S Senator Michael Bennet, which raised alarms about safety and environmental risks from increased oil traffic.

Earlier this year, Eagle County leaders, along with others, sued to stop the project, which would have sent up to nine more trains a day through Colorado and transported millions of gallons of crude to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuit argued that the U.S. Surface Transportation Board improperly approved the project.

The federal court ruled the agency violated the National Environmental Policy Act and failed to properly assess and disclose potential risks and environmental damage, including impacts to the Colorado River, which supplies water to more than 40 million people across the West."

Tom Hesse and Sam Brasch report for Colorado Public Radio August 18, 2023.


Source: Colorado Public Radio, 08/21/2023