Transportation company reaches agreement with EPA over derailment cleanup

CSX Transportation Inc. has agreed with the US Environmental Protection Agency to clean up and restore areas affected by February's train derailment in Mount Carbon, West Virginia.

In the incident 27 cars derailed from a 109 car train carrying more than 3 million gallons of crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. The derailment caused an explosion, fires, loss of a house and required nearby residents to evacuate.

The settlement, filed in early March and signed by CSX, replaces an earlier EPA order for cleanup and restoration, according to an EPA release. Under the terms of the proposal, CSX will have 21 days to submit a detailed long-term plan for cleaning up and restoring areas impacted by the derailment.

According to the EPA, CSX has committed "significant resources" to respond to the derailment. The settlement stipulates that CSX continue short-term cleanup efforts currently underway, including 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 of the incident.

"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.

The EPA and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will continue to work closely to monitor CSX's efforts to ensure proper cleanup and minimize environmental impacts.

Environmental consultants can help companies conduct remediation in the event of an accident, with innovative and cost-effective approaches that help bring sites to an expeditious close.