Kristin Delgado from Fox 35 takes a look at yesterday's Port Commission meeting where approximately 150 concerned outdoorsmen, environmentalists and homeowners showed up to voice their opposition to the Canaveral Port Authority's plan to carve an 11-mile-long commercial railway out of the northern Banana River lagoon and critical wetlands on the margins of the lagoon.
Couple of things to take note of, again the CPA being somewhat opaque in its responses via Jim Dubea, deputy director:
1. The STB is not conducting an environmental impact study. They are compiling an Environmental Impact Statement. Little if any new science will be included in the statement; rather, its a compendium of existing research conducted over the years.
2. Although Dubea says the port is looking at several alternatives, in its latest response to the Surface Transportation Board, dated March 26, the port narrowed its preferred proposals down to two (each with two options). Both cut across the Banana River, and both contain either a 6,000-foot earthen-berm causeway or an entire trestle configuration. Other suggested alternatives were explained away as too expensive or infeasible.
It's also important to note that the Canaveral Port Authority entered into a binding contract with GulfTainerUSA on June 23, 2014 guaranteeing barge-to-rail and commercial rail extension services by time certain dates without soliciting public opinion or approval.