Don’t relent on demand for bridge EIS

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The Department of Lands in Boise just issued its permit approval for a second BNSF bridge across our beautiful lake. The residents of Sandpoint should be alarmed by this news. We should all be demanding why Bonner County Commissioners Glen Bailey and Dan McDonald believe an Environmental Impact Statement is “overkill” when adding a second bridge dramatically increases the chances of a catastrophic derailment.

True to form, the process of bridge approval starts in the dark, remains in the dark and ensures the effects emerge from the dark — long after the time to protest is over. This is political tactics 101. If there is a fact, document or circumstance that is deadly to the plan, hide it until forced to reveal it and only after all decisions are made without it and the media has moved on.

Has anyone reported or researched the effects of the railway on the automobile/train crossings and resulting traffic holds? Where is the discussion of the riparian right of view and use held by the community and property owners? Of the derailment issues? Or what about the complete lack of discussion about increased vibration on the community homes and businesses? No? That’s because all of these issues are being ignored. There is no benefit to us from having over a hundred trains trundle through every 24/7. The only benefit is to BNSF and the politicians being paid off to support it.

The name of the state official approving all this with zero consideration of the people of Sandpoint is David Groeschi. He is in Boise as the director of the Idaho Department of Lands. He does not live here and has no investments here or business here.

I challenge his forthrightness.

We are being played, folks. No one in Boise gives a darn what happens to Sandpoint so long as the BNSF lobby is giving out who-knows-what in donations. They only care about BNFS’s support for the politician de jure. It is sickening and Groeschi and the rest of the bureaucrats should be hanging their heads in shame for selling out the citizenry.

Tell your neighbors. Take a stand. You are American citizens and citizens of Bonner County . You feel like you’re being heard? If you are turning the page to see something else in the Bee, please just ask yourself this: How did the Rust Belt cities of Detroit and Toledo and Cleveland, etc. get that way? Would it have happened if caring, intelligent people had stood up and said “not on my watch...”?

Please, think through it, and help us. We must demand for a full EIS to be conducted and alternative routing of an additional track that reduces or eliminates the impact on the residents of Bonner County. It’s going to be a dog fight and the city will need all the support it can get.

GREGORY ANDREW ANDERSON

Sandpoint

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