CSX Transportation to clean up areas impacted by WV train derailment

The Environmental Protection Agency has officially ordered CSX Transportation to clean up and restore the areas affected by the train derailment that occurred near the census-designated area of Mount Carbon, W.Va., on Monday, Feb. 16.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, March 6, 2015 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially ordered CSX Transportation, a Class-I U.S. railroad and the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation, to clean up and restore the areas affected by the train derailment that occurred near the census-designated area of Mount Carbon, W.Va., on Monday, Feb. 16.

Twenty-seven cars derailed from the 109-car CSX train carrying more than 3 million gallons of crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. The derailment resulted in an explosion, fires and loss of a house and also required nearby residents to evacuate (see "WV train crash impacts local water supplies; cleanup efforts underway").

The accident came on the heels of the Freedom Industries chemical spill that impacted the region last January, where as much as 10,000 gallons of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, a chemical used to clean mining equipment, was released into the environment (see "WV chemical spill shuts down capital city, water supplies").

Under EPA's order -- which follows an emergency response conducted under a Unified Command (UC) with federal, state and local agencies and CSX -- the company must first develop and submit a comprehensive plan for all the areas impacted by the derailment. Thus far, CSX has committed significant resources and has worked closely with the UC at the scene. The plan must include short-term and long-term cleanup and restoration.

EPA has also closely coordinated with the State of West Virginia on the order and will continue to work closely with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies to ensure proper cleanup and to minimize any immediate or lasting environmental impacts of the derailment.

Specifically CSX must do the following:

  • Continue air and water monitoring and testing
  • Contain and recover oil on Armstrong Creek, the Kanawha River and their tributaries and adjoining shorelines
  • Regularly inspect the boom located along the river to capture the residual oily water as ice continues to melt
  • Maintain the integrity of the metal sheet pile wall that creates a barrier between the rail line and the Kanawha River to allow the recovery of oil to continue
  • Provide education to residents about the potential effects from the incident including potential health threats, protective measures, wildlife preservation, and claims and notification procedures
  • Conduct long-term monitoring of Armstrong Creek, the Kanawha River and their adjoining shorelines to detect oil that may be discharged from area facilities
  • Report to EPA and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection on progress and confirm compliance with the approved plan
  • Respond immediately if another threat to public health or welfare occurs while implementing the order
  • Conduct long–term monitoring for air quality and testing for groundwater, surface water and shorelines to ensure that the cleanup and restoration remain effective.

The response was conducted under 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. The roadway and the railroad track are now open.

See also:

"EPA awards $8M in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants to combat invasive species"

"EPA honors several New England WWTPs with excellence awards"

###

More in Industrial