Agreement is CN’s second major transaction-related mitigation pact
CN announced an agreement with the City of Crest Hill, Ill., regarding its proposed acquisition of the principal lines of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company (EJ&E). The agreement addresses municipal concerns about the community impact of the transaction through the proposed creation of quiet zones and implementation of noise mitigation measures.
The agreement is contingent upon regulatory approval of CN’s planned acquisition of the EJ&E. The transaction is being reviewed by the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which encourages voluntary mitigation agreements between CN and communities.
Gordon Trafton, CN senior vice-president, Southern Region, said: “We appreciate the City of Crest Hill’s cooperation in working with CN to find practical, long-term solutions to municipal concerns about the transaction’s impact on the community. Crest Hill conducted several public meetings to discuss the mitigation proposals and CN was invited to participate with officials and citizens.
“This agreement marks CN’s second major mitigation agreement with a community - in August, we reached a similar pact with the City of Joliet - and we continue to work hard to reach fair, comprehensive voluntary agreements with other municipalities along the EJ&E line.”
Upon STB approval of the transaction, CN would meet its commitments to the City of Crest Hill by substantially implementing the required mitigation measures as train activity increases.
CN has been working with each of the communities along the EJ&E line to reach mitigation agreements to address specific community concerns associated with increased train traffic. CN has developed a comprehensive voluntary mitigation plan in which it has committed to meet all of the STB’s established mitigation standards under a program that would cost about $60 million, in addition to the $100 million CN has earmarked for infrastructure improvements on the EJ&E.
CN and U. S. Steel, the indirect owner of the EJ&E, announced on Sept. 26, 2007, an agreement under which CN would acquire most of the EJ&E for $300 million, subject to regulatory approval by the STB.