City wants effect of proposed coal railroad on Livingston included in environmental study

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LIVINGSTON, Montana — The city of Livingston wants federal regulators to consider the impacts that increased coal train traffic would have on the city in a pending analysis of the proposed Tongue River Railroad.

City commissioners voted Tuesday night to make the request to the Surface Transportation Board.

The Northern Plains Resource Council says local governments in Missoula and Whitefish along with the Lewis and Clark City-County Board of Health have passed similar resolutions or sent letters arguing more coal trains would impact public health and safety.

The STB has said it expects to take until next April to complete its draft environmental analysis of the proposed $403 million rail line, which would open the door to new mines in the Powder River Basin along the Montana-Wyoming border. The coal could be shipped to ports on the West Coast.

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