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CSX Transportation settles 2015 derailment and oil spill in Mount Carbon, W.Va.

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Staff Writer | July 25, 2018
The U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State of West Virginia announced a settlement with CSX Transportation Inc. to resolve its liability for state and federal water pollution violations related to a 2015 oil spill caused by a train derailment in Mount Carbon, West Virginia.
America   CSX Transportation will pay $2.2 million
Under the terms of the settlement, CSX Transportation will pay penalties of $1.2 million to the United States and $1 million to West Virginia.

On February 16, 2015, a CSX Transportation train with 109 railcars carrying crude oil derailed in Mount Carbon.

Twenty-seven tank cars, each containing approximately 29,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil, derailed, and about half of the tank cars ignited. The resulting explosions and fires destroyed an adjacent home and garage. Local officials declared a state of emergency, nearby water intakes were shut down, and residents in the area were evacuated.

EPA and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection joined with other federal, state, and local agencies in responding to the incident. In response to federal and state orders, CSX Transportation has taken steps to remedy the damage and disruption caused by the oil spill.

Separately, under a state-negotiated provision, CSX Transportation will help improve surface water quality in the area impacted by the oil spill through a contribution of $500,000 to a state-administered fund to upgrade a water treatment facility in Fayette County, West Virginia.

Some of the oil discharged during and following the train derailment flowed into the Kanawha River and Armstrong Creek. Freshwater bodies are particularly sensitive to fuel spills, which may damage fish and bird habitat and threaten drinking water supplies.

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.