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La Crosse Residents File Suit Over BNSF Permit

Group Wants Deeper Analysis From DNR On Environmental Impact


A group of La Crosse area residents is bringing a legal challenge the state’s Department of Natural Resources in hopes that the agency will conduct a more thorough analysis of a controversial rail expansion through the city’s marsh.

The group is hoping a judge will compel the DNR to conduct a more comprehensive environmental impact statement. The agency recently issued a permit to BNSF Railway to add a second track that would run through the urban wetland.

The DNR did an environmental analysis, but petitioner Alan Stankevitz said it’s not good enough.

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He wants to better understand the long term impact the expansion could have on wildlife disturbances, air pollution, and noise.

“An EIS could help legislators, agencies, and others to identify impacts and reasonable solutions, such as safer tank cars, speed controls, improved infrastructure, increased inspections, and appropriate routing,“ said Stankevitz.

The concerns come amid a series of train derailments and explosions in the U.S.

The DNR declined to comment on the legal action.