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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Governor's Council on Freight Rail

Function: The Council was established to elevate coordination and partnership between the state and railroads; to actively promote safety and reduce risks; and to ensure efficient movement of goods to support our economy while minimizing the impacts of those operations to our local communities.

The Council shall consult with and solicit advice from private industry, governmental entities, labor unions, and nonprofits regarding concerns and opportunities with freight railroads and related activities.

The Council will develop a platform for ongoing communication and dialogue with freight rail operators in the State of Minnesota on key issues such as capacity enhancements, capital improvement priorities, economic development and safety; the Council will review and provide direction on an interagency risk assessment that shall identify specific recommendations and changes to enhance safety, if appropriate, in operating practice or administrative rules across agencies and, if applicable, recommendations to external partners on safety improvements; the Council will work to study, educate, and collaborate around best practices in the area of supporting freight rail and economic development in our communities; and the Council will meet at least two times per year and prepare an update on activities to the Governor by February 1, 2017 and each year thereafter.
Active dates:2016 -
History: In June 2017, Governor Dayton appointed Arlene Tchourumoff to serve as the director of the Met Council effective July 31. She had been serving as the first Rail Director for the Council on Freight Rail. In October 2017, Tenzin Dolkar, a senior policy advisor to Governor Dayton, was appointed Rail Director.
Membership: The Council shall include the following: the Governor's Rail Director (Chair of the Council on behalf of the Governor); the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation (Vice-Chair of the Council); Commissioner of Agriculture; Commissioner of Commerce; Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development; Commissioner of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board; Chair of the Metropolitan Council; Commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency; Commissioner of Public Safety; and Commissioner of Revenue. The Council shall also include, by invitation: one representative each from the Class I railroads operating in the state; one representative each from three Minnesota Class II and III railroads; one representative from Amtrak; one city representative designated by the League of Minnesota Cities; and one county representative designated by the Association of Minnesota Counties.
Agency heads: The Governor's Rail Director will serve as the Chair of the Council on behalf of the Governor; the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation shall serve as the Vice-Chair of the Council.

Rail Director: Arlene Tchourumoff (April 26, 2016 - July 31, 2017); Tenzin Dolkar (Oct. 4, 2017 - )
Record last updated: 10/17/2017

Additional print information on this group may be available in the Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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