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EPA Enters Environmental Assessment Phase at CSX Train Derailment in Bullitt County, Kentucky

Release Date: 01/29/2007
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353,

(ATLANTA – January 29, 2007) EPA announced today that it is transitioning operations from an emergency response to an environmental assessment phase at the January 16, 2007 CSX Transportation (CSXT) Bullitt County, Ky. train derailment incident in order to evaluate the nature and extent of contamination arising from the release of hazardous substances as a result of the derailment. The environmental investigation will be conducted in parallel with ongoing response actions initiated in the immediate aftermath of the derailment, including the cleanup of surface water and shorelines at several locations along Clear Run Creek and Bluelick Creek.

    CSXT, which is performing the environmental investigation, has submitted sampling and analysis plans to EPA and the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection, who are acting jointly to oversee the work performed by CSXT. The sampling includes an assessment of the potential for releases from the derailment and their possible affect on shallow groundwater and soils in the immediate vicinity of the wreck site. The work being performed by CSXT is a time-critical removal action, which is intended to stabilize conditions that may pose immediate threats to human health or the environment.

    The emergency response action occurred as a result of a CSXT train derailment involving 13 tank cars in Brooks, Bullitt County, Ky., approximately 25 miles south of Louisville, Ky. The product cars contained a variety of flammable liquids, gases, and solid materials, including, 1,3-butadiene, cyclohexane, methyl ethyl ketone, and maleic anhydride. The incident resulted in homes being evacuated within a one-mile radius of the derailment. Residents in 15 homes remain evacuated at this time.