KCUR News
4:49 pm
Mon December 21, 2009

Nod To Rail Hub: Protests Unabated

Gardner, KS – A Kansas group opposed to a huge rail hub in Johnson County calls issuance of a federal permit,"arbitrary" and "capricious," and threatens a lawsuit to block it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved construction for the 400 acre project.

The permit will allow one of the largest economic development ventures in the Kansas City area. Developer BNSF Railway plans to build on the 400 acre site off Interstate 35 near Gardner.

Environmentalists, including Hillsdale Environment Loss Protection Corporation, say the environmental impact assessment isn't adequate. The railway counters the assessment was thoroughly studied.

Hillsdale group lawyer Mark Dugan said in a presentation on its website, BNSF has been sued or cited in regulatory actions in Idaho, New Jersey and Montana-- " what generally happens, there are spills. diesel spills or spills from cargo which can then make their way into surface water or into groundwater."
Some are concerned contaminants will make their way into Hillsdale lake. It supplies drinking water to an estimated 30 thousand people.
Opponents of the rail-to-truck transfer hub have claimed developers have not been held accountable for weighing potential health risks in its future operation.