Illinois DOT, Wisconsin DOT, and the Federal Railroad Administration have proposed expanding commuter rail service between Milwaukee and Chicago. A doubling of service would entail more delays for freight traffic using the same tracks. Thus, the three government agencies have proposed constructing a 2-mile holding track in Northbrook and Glenview adjacent to the existing freight rail line, to accommodate additional freight delays. A consultant to the agencies prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) on the proposal.
On Nov 15, 2016 we filed comments on the EA, rejecting their conclusion that no significant environmental impact would occur. The EA, a less rigorous environmental evaluation than an Environmental Impact Study (EIS), was not based on any actual measurements, monitoring, or sampling of existing, localized conditions. Rather, their conclusion was based on county-wide data. We recommended that a full EIS be conducted on the proposal.