This post arrives with very good news. As you know we formed a Coalition a few years ago to address the impacts that could potentially affect our entire county by the proposed fast train All Aboard Florida now being called Brightline. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) gave us the rights to defend our human and natural environments and we inserted our concerns into that process.
We responded again and again to the statements by Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and All Aboard Florida (AAF) formally identifying these impacts. We never received acknowledgment and AAF proceeded to file permit applications and release right-of-way plans for counties north and south of Indian River. Our concerns were finally publically acknowledged last Thursday, May 12, 2016 and we have the United States Army, Corps of Engineers (Corps) to thank.
AAF needs permits from the Corps and upon the filing of these applications the Corps posted a notice regarding public comment time and the possibility of a public hearing. We responded once again, identifying our concerns and noting the failure of agencies to acknowledge them. We requested an extension of public comment time and asked for a public hearing. The public comment time was extended and I have since been personally advised that our response to their posting will be considered in evaluating whether or not to hold a public hearing.
On May 12th the Corps sent a letter to AAF requiring them to address the public concerns. Their "application will be held in abeyance for 30 days pending receipt" of their response. This letter is available here for your reading pleasure!
We have posted online here on our website the letter sent to the Corps in response to their posting, for your greater understanding of the concerns and efforts of our Coalition.
As always, your comments are welcome.
Honey Minuse, Chair