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DM#x0026;E; President and CEO Kevin Schieffer issued a statement in which he called the Federal Railroad's announcement "one of the final steps toward approval" of the company's $2.3 billion loan application.

"If approved, this loan will give DM&E; the resources it needs to upgrade the railroad. That means improved safety, efficiency and opportunities for the farmers and communities that depend upon it," he said.

He was gratified to see the railroad board accept the environmental analysis of the Surface Transportation Board, and noted that the STB recognized DM&E; was to meet environmental concerns through 147 compliance conditions and through voluntary agreements with 55 of the 56 communities affected by the project, with Rochester the lone holdout.

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