From Martin County Commissioners: ‘Citizens, now is the time to weigh in on All Aboard FL’

Sarah Heard, Martin County Commission Chair (Source:

Martin County staff is closely examining the Federal Railroad Administration’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) regarding All Aboard Florida’s proposal to provide intercity passenger rail service between Miami and Orlando. Although Martin County is located along the proposed route, there are no stops on the Treasure Coast. Should the project be approved as proposed, trains will race through our County, speeding through the heart of our most-densely populated communities, including Hobe Sound, Port Salerno, Stuart, Jensen Beach and Rio. Martin County’s concerns about this project include its potential negative impact to public safety, our environment, local marine traffic, our economy and our quality of life.

Over the last several months, we have been in close contact with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and have seized every opportunity to express our concerns. Currently, our staff is studying the 522-page DEIS, plus the 54 Attachments in the Appendix, and is preparing to make formal comments. Now that the DEIS has been released to the public, we encourage our citizens, who are concerned about this project, to provide their input during the comment period. The process for commenting is very specific and in an effort to help our citizens through this important and somewhat complicated commenting process, we’d like to offer the following information.

The DEIS is available for review on the FRA website: and at the Blake Library, which is located at 2351 SE Monterey Road in Stuart. We have also posted it to the County’s website at

In order for comments to be considered as part of the DEIS, they must be submitted via one or more of the following options:

* Comments can be submitted by mail to Mr. John Winkle, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Room W38-311, Washington, DC 20590

* Comments can be sent by email to

* Comments can be submitted via comment cards at the meeting in Stuart on October 30 (or mailed to Mr. Winkle at the address above) or at the meeting you can make an oral comment which will be documented by a court reporter.

* Comments must be submitted, in writing, by December 3, 2014, in order to be considered.

Providing formal comments outside of the approved commenting channels could result in the comments not being included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

The FRA will hold eight Public Information Meetings on the DEIS. The Martin County workshop will be held on Thursday, October 30 at the Kane Center, 900 SE Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997 from 3:30-7:00 p.m. The public will have the opportunity to express their concerns about the DEIS with the FRA. The FRA will provide a station at each of the meetings where members of the public can leave written comments on the DEIS.

We encourage our citizens to express their concerns through the above described process. Martin County remains committed to actively communicating the concerns of our community and protecting its interests.

Chair Sarah Heard, Martin County Board of County Commissioners

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