Thumb up: Finally, a federal agency rebuffs All Aboard Florida

Posted on January 21, 2016

By Editorial Board

Whether it's the Federal Railroad Administration issuing innocuous environmental impact statements or the U.S. Department of Transportation granting All Aboard Florida two extensions to sell $1.75 billion in tax-exempt bonds, federal officials appeared to be doing their utmost to facilitate the Miami-to-Orlando passenger rail project.

So it was a pleasant surprise to learn the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in a Jan. 7 letter to All Aboard Florida, expressed its reluctance to approve permits for the northern section of the project.

Corps officials said they need more information about potential damage to federal waters, including wetlands, before allowing All Aboard Florida to begin work in Indian River and Brevard counties.

"You are cautioned that commencement of the proposed work in waters of the United States subject to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' jurisdiction, prior to authorization, would constitute a violation of federal laws and subject you to possible enforcement action," the Corps stated in the letter.

It's reassuring to see the rail project get much-needed federal scrutiny.

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