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News Releases from Region 03

EPA Orders CSX to Clean up Areas Impacted by West Virginia Train Derailment

Contact Information: 
Bonnie Smith (smith.bonnie@epa.gov)

PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 27, 2015) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered CSX to clean-up and restore the areas affected by the Feb. 16 train derailment in Mt. Carbon, W. Va. Twenty-seven cars derailed from the 109-car CSX train carrying more than three million gallons 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 EPA order follows an emergency response conducted under a Unified Command with federal, state and local agencies and CSX responding.

Under EPA's order, CSX must first develop and submit a comprehensive plan for all the 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. The plan must include short-term and long-term cleanup and restoration.

EPA has 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:

*Continue air and water monitoring and testing;

*Contain and recover oil on Armstrong Creek, the Kanawha River and their tributaries and the 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; and

*Conduct long-term monitoring for air quality and testing for ground water, 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.

The order is available here: http://epaosc.org/sites/9762/files/CSX%20Transportation.Docket%20No%20CWA-03-2015-0104CW.Administrative%20Order.pdf