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Rochester Coalition and Mayo Clinic Challenge Railroad's Contention That Hazmat Rail Shipments Pose no Risk
Date:5/20/2008

New evidence suggests Rochester will become high-speed rail corridor for

coal and hazardous material shipments

ROCHESTER, Minn., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of the Rochester Coalition, Mayo Clinic today presented federal regulators with new evidence that suggests Rochester will become a high-speed rail corridor for coal and hazardous material shipments soon after the Canadian Pacific Railway's acquisition of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) is approved. The evidence contradicts previous assertions made by the DM&E and Canadian Pacific used to justify their position that the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) should deny mitigation for Rochester and Mayo Clinic.

Evidence in the public record now suggests that a substantial number of carloads of ethanol will move through Rochester on their way to Chicago after the Canadian Pacific gains control of the DM&E. Recent sworn testimony offered by DM&E executives in a separate legal matter also suggests that the DM&E, now owned by the Canadian Pacific but not directly under its control, is actively moving forward with a plan to expand into Wyoming's Powder River Basin (PRB), but the Canadian Pacific claims no such decision has been reached.

The STB has accepted the Canadian Pacific's claims that there would be no significant increase of hazardous material shipments through Rochester as a result of the DM&E sale, so safety mitigation improvements were unnecessary. The STB also previously agreed to a Canadian Pacific request not to require specific mitigation protections for Rochester until or unless the railroad decides to proceed with the PRB expansion. Both contentions appear to be inconsistent with facts now available.

New Hazmat Evidence

In its filed rebuttal papers, the Mayo Clinic stated that "Evidence classified as 'highly confidential' in the Canadian Pacific's April 18 filing to the STB makes it clear that its prior representations
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SOURCE Rochester Coalition
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