Pan Am Railways reaches settlement with EPA

Pan Am Railways has just agreed to pay $152,000 to settle in response to allegations that it violated several federal environmental laws at two of its New England rail yards.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the settlement on Tuesday July 21, saying that the railroad company violated permit conditions for storm water management at both its Massachusetts and Maine rail yards. These violations included a failure to implemented preventative practices to reduce pollution in at-risk areas, as well as a failure to perform proper storm water inspections in 2011 and 2012.

As part of its statement, the EPA explained that if storm water isn't properly monitored and controlled, it could easily run into local waterways and cause long term environmental damage including habitat degradation.

Beyond paying the EPA its $152,000 fine, Pan Am will also be required to submit to an Environmental Culture Assessment as part of an effort to improve its current stance towards environmental stewardship and reduce the overall impact of its rail yards.

The EPA reported that, at the railroad company's Maine site, debris piles were stacked on site without controls in place, and oil staining occurred across the entire site. The Massachusetts site has already started undergoing an environmentally friendly overhaul, including new control plans that aim to clean-up the area of the yard found to contain asbestos. 

Companies across a broad range of industries, including transportation, can work with environmental consultants to ensure that they are in full compliance with all federal and state laws as they conduct operations.