Washington, D.C. U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Bill Owens May 14 announced that the Federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) has heeded their call and approved Iowa Pacific Holdings’ request for common carrier status, which will allow them to reopen the Tahawus Line between North Creek and Newcomb, and resume hauling freight to and from businesses along that line. Iowa Pacific Holdings has been seeking this rail status for several months, and after the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Transportation got on board with this plan, Schumer, Gillibrand and Owens called on the Federal Surface Transportation board to grant this critical status.
Schumer, Gillibrand and Owens applauded the STB decision to provide Iowa Pacific common carrier status, which will allow the rail company to recomission the Tahawus line and begin hauling unsightly tailings from the Adirondacks that can then be refined into rare earth elements from Titanium tailings left over from mining during World War II. Schumer has long pushed for more domestically produced rare earth elements, which are critical to high-tech and manufacturing companies across New York. The representatives noted that the reopening of this line will also cut down the number of truckloads for this work by 2 million, and dramatically reduce harmful emissions. Reconstructing this line will create short-term construction jobs, and long-term jobs once hauling begins, and would inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy each year.
“Today’s announcement is great news for the Adirondacks region, and I’m pleased that the feds have granted Iowa Pacific Holdings the rail status it needs to move job-creating infrastructure projects chugging down the tracks,” said Senator Schumer. “The Federal Surface Transportation Board approval of Iowa Pacific Holdings’ request for common carrier status, will allow them to reopen the Tahawus Rail line between North Creek and Newcomb and create dozens of jobs thanks to rail reconstruction and resumed hauling between businesses along the line. The reopening of this rail line will reduce the amount of truck traffic and emissions in the Adirondacks, but will also pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy each year of this project. I am thrilled that STB has heeded our call, and that reconstruction of the rail line and ensuing economic activity from its completion can benefit the Adirondack Region for years to come.”