Sensenbrenner wants new public hearing on high-speed rail

    Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) sent a letter this week to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, offering comments on the environmental assessment that is being conducted in conjunction with the permit for the proposed high-speed rail service between Milwaukee and Madison.
    The permit under consideration is for the first phase of the 85-mile long project to reinstate and upgrade the passenger rail service.  Sensenbrenner also requests a public hearing on the issue so that the public can remain informed.
    “I disagree with rushing the first phase of this project to construction without allowing the public’s concerns to be heard,” Sensenbrenner wrote to Ms. Tamara Cameron, chief of the Regulatory Branch, St. Paul Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
    Sensenbrenner said he drafted the correspondence because of his concern that the public hearing on the environmental assessment was held over nine years ago in June, 2001 and the impact to wetlands in the communities has increased “from 13.5 acres at the time of the hearing to 23.8 acres in the permit application.”
    Sensenbrenner added, “I have opposed this rail project from the inception because it is plain and simply a boondoggle that we can’t afford. However, at the very least the public has a right to public hearings to learn about the impact this will have on their communities. This is why we have a public comment period.  I fear without additional hearings, the public will not know fully what it’s getting itself into.”
    – BizTimes Milwaukee

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