A federal appeals court ruled late last week that the federal government needs to take a closer look at the potential environmental impacts of a proposed 130-mile railroad project that would transport coal through Montana.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) had failed to carry out the required "hard look" at several environmental issues raised by the Tongue River Railroad project as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
STB approved the project -- backed by the Tongue River Railroad Co. -- in 2007 over the objection of conservation groups, including the Northern Plains Resource Council, and local ranchers. Continued