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Railway Fined $4M for Chlorine Spill

4055022Norfolk Southern Railway will pay a $4 million penalty over a 2005 chlorine spill in Graniteville, S.C.

The penalty, for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and hazardous materials laws, was reached March 8 by the railway, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a press release.

The deal also calls for Norfolk Southern to make some environmental improvements in the area where the spill occured, reports the Augusta Chronicle.

The Jan. 6, 2005 spill, caused by a train wreck, involved the discharge of tons of chlorine, a hazardous substance, from a derailed train tank car and thousands of gallons of diesel fuel from ruptured locomotive engine fuel tanks.

The railroad failed to immediately notify the National Response Center of the chlorine spill, causing an additional penalty of $32,500, to be deposited in the Hazardous Substance Superfund.

Nine people died as a result of chlorine exposure and about 5,000 people had to be evacuated.

A cloud of the gas settled over a nearby waterway, killing hundreds of fish.

Norfolk Southern will provide incident command system training to environmental and transportation personnel and undertake a supplemental environmental project valued at $100,000 to plant vegetation along the banks of Horse Creek to decrease erosion and sedimentation.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court review and approval.

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2 thoughts on “Railway Fined $4M for Chlorine Spill

  1. • Haz Mat Experts petition Dow Chemical Company for safe rail tank cars transporting gas chlorine. Secondary containment is a necessary improvement that must be implemented.
    See– PETITION C KIT for Haz Mat Expert comments

  2. TOXIC TRAIN SAFETY – A First Responders Petition caused The Chlorine Institute to conduct a five-month study comparing the safety of secondary containment to the chlorine “C”-Kit for chlorine tank cars. The study proved secondary containment to be, by far, the safest technology for containing and preventing releases of chlorine gas. To see secondary containment – search CHLORTANKER.”

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