Company fined over $360,000 for crude oil spill

March 3, 2015

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is taking action against CXS Transportation Inc. for a 2014 train derailment that dumped almost 30,000 gallons of crude oil into and around a state river.

On April 30, 2014, a CXS Corp train carrying Bakken shale crude oil derailed and burst into flames. Reportedly 17 tankers came off the track, and three fell directly into the James River. The accident resulted in a massive spill and forced hundreds to evacuate. Virginia DEQ began their investigation into the event shortly after it took place.

consent order released in the last week of February proposed a $361,000 civil fine against CSX Transportation Inc., and an additional $18,574 for costs associated with investigating the April spill. According to WSET-TV the Virginia DEQ, "came up with the $361,000 fine after looking into the environmental impact along with the factors leading up to the derailment."

Despite the accident, Virginia state authorities stated that no impact had been reported to the water quality in the James River. Most of the 27,000 gallons of oil that spilled was burned off by the explosion and fire, while the 245 gallons of oil that had entered the river's embankment had been recovered, presumably by CSX Corp. Approximately 390 gallons remains in the environment.

This is not the most recent accident CSX has been involved in. The railroad company sent West Virginia into a state of emergency at the end of February 2015 after another derailment and explosion in the town of Mount Carbon. The incident resulted in a crude oil spill in the Kanawha River, and a fire that burned for a full two days.

Transportation companies and other business should make it a point to talk to environmental consultants regularly, to ensure that they are following all government environmental regulations. Consultants can also conduct assessments and remediation, if need be.