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CSX agrees to EPA order for train derailment cleanup

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

CSX Transportation Inc. has agreed with the US Environmental Protection Agency to clean up and restore the areas affected by the 16 February train derailment in Mount Carbon, West Virginia. 27 cars derailed from the 109 car CSX train carrying more than 3 million gal. of crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. The derailment resulted in an explosion, fires, loss of a house and required nearby residents to evacuate.

The settlement signed by CSX and EPA was filed on 3 March and replaces EPA’s order for cleanup and restoration issued on 27 February. Within the next 21 days, CSX has agreed to submit a comprehensive long term plan for cleaning up and restoring areas impacted by the derailment.

CSX has committed significant resources to respond to the derailment and has worked closely with the Unified Command at the scene. Under the agreement CSX will continue the shorter term cleanup efforts that are already underway. This includes air and water monitoring and testing; recovering oil from Armstrong Creek, the Kanawha River and their tributaries and shorelines; and educating residents about the potential effects from the incident including potential health threats, protective measures, wildlife preservation, and claims and notification procedures.

“The agreement between CSX and EPA provides a framework within which CSX can work, with oversight from EPA and West Virginia, to ensure that oil contamination from the derailment in Mount Carbon continues to be safely contained and that long lasting impacts are mitigated to protect human health and the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin.

EPA and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection have worked closely together to ensure proper cleanup and minimise any immediate or lasting environmental impacts.

The initial emergency response was conducted under a Unified Command with federal, state and local agencies and CSX responding. The response was conducted during and affected by harsh winter weather conditions. The residents were able to return to their homes in six days after being evacuated. Clearance for their return was based on verification from consistent monitoring and testing of air, drinking water and surface water. The roadway and the railroad track are now open.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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