DEQ Proposes 361K Penalty Against CSX For James River Tanker Fire

RICHMOND, VA. – The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has proposed a consent order in response to the derailment of a rail car that caught fire in the James River in Lynchburg in April of last year. The order imposes a $361,000 civil charge against tanker car owner CSX Transportation Inc.

An investigation by DEQ and CSX determined that of the more than 29,000 gallons of crude oil in the breached tanker, approximately 98 percent was consumed in the fire.

DEQ checked water quality for several days along the river from Lynchburg to Richmond and observed no other environmental concerns at the time. The consent order is based on state law that prohibits release of oil to land or water.

The consent order, to which CSX has agreed, also calls for CSX to pay more than $18,500 for DEQ’s investigative costs following the oil spill. In addition, CSX will complete restoration of the James River bank in the area of the derailment and conduct monitoring of the river to determine if there are any long-term environmental impacts from the incident.

The public has until March 25, 2015, to submit comments on the order before it goes to the State Water Control Board for final approval.

The proposed consent order is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov.

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