Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today issued the statement below following the Surface Transportation Board's (STB) decision to grant final approval to the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) to build or rehabilitate over 1,300 miles of rail.

"The STB's approval today of DM&E's proposal should come as no surprise, as it's been eight years since DM&E first submitted its application," Thune said. "After extensive review, the STB today reaffirmed the initial backing they voiced for the project in 2002.

"The DM&E project could transform South Dakota's economy for generations. A project of this magnitude could have a massive economic impact throughout the state and region. This is the type of development that South Dakota needs to build and strengthen our economy."

In today's decision, the STB: (1) addressed the four environmental issues raised in the previous court challenge to DM&E's proposed project by opponents; (2) reaffirmed that the proposed project will have transportation benefits and will further the public interest; and (3) imposed 147 environmental mitigation conditions, one of which has been expanded from the Board's prior decision issued in 2002.

The STB's decision today will allow DM&E to pursue either public or private financing to complete this $2.5 billion project.

The STB's official decision can be found at