PIERRE, SD (KELO AM) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard will send a delegation of state officials to meet with members of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on Friday, July 18, to discuss rail shipment problems in South Dakota.
The delegation includes the heads of the state departments of Agriculture and Transportation, Lucas Lentsch and Darin Bergquist. The cabinet secretaries will travel to Washington, D.C., to convey the Governor’s concerns about ongoing service issues to the Board.
“Our agriculture economy is highly dependent on rail,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Our farmers and ranchers have the potential for record crops this year; but without rail shippers to deliver those commodities to the market, our producers won’t realize that success and our economy will be negatively impacted.”
In April, Secretary Lentsch addressed the STB about the backlog of rail shipment, and the STB issued a decision directing railways to report their plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments.
The Governor’s Office has also been in communications with representatives of the Burlington, Northern & Santa Fe Railroad; the Canadian Pacific; and the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad to share the state’s concerns.