217.370.8505 cory@bletislb.org

Chicago suburbs appeal CPKC merger decision

The Coalition to Stop CPKC, a group of eight Chicago suburbs that opposed the $31 billion merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern, is appealing the Surface Transportation Board’s approval of the Class Is’ merger.

Last week, the coalition appealed the STB’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The STB approved the merger March 15 and the combination took effect April 14.

The merger is expected to increase freight traffic in the coalition’s communities by 400%, which could have potential negative effects on the environment and local traffic, coalition officials said in a press release announcing the appeal. The STB also “fell short” of considering the impacts of the merger on the Chicagoland area as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, they said.

The coalition’s members are the communities of Bartlett, Bensenville, Elgin, Hanover Park, Itasca, Roselle, Schaumberg, Wood Dale and DuPage County, Illinois.

In its appeal, the coalition asks the court to require the STB to conduct a supplemental environmental impact statement to thoroughly evaluate the potential environmental impacts with “more robust mitigation measures than the STB imposed in its decision,” officials said.

“DuPage County believes the STB did not take into consideration the significant daily impact of 15 miles of additional train lengths on coalition communities,” said DuPage County Chair Deborah Conroy in the press release.

The merger will take 64,000 trucks off the road every year, reducing congestion and emissions, Canadian Pacific Kansas City officials told ABC7 Chicago.

“In our view, the [STB] conducted a comprehensive, thorough and thoughtful review of the combination and its environmental impacts as part of a more-than-year-long regulatory review and environmental impact study. We believe that unprecedented examination of the facts produced the right final decision, which clearly recognizes the many benefits of the CPKC combination,” railroad officials said in a statement to the TV station.

To learn more about the coalition, read this RailPrime article.