CSX derailment and oil spill leads to federal lawsuit

By Bree Gonzales | Sep 14, 2018

CHARLESTON — Federal and state officials accuse CSX Transportation of several environmental torts in response to oil spilled from a derailed train.

The United States of America, the state of West Virginia and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against CSX Transportation Inc. 

According to the complaint, a CSX train derailed in February 2015 and spilled oil into the Kanawha River and Armstrong Creek. The spill also affected the land around the waterways. Government officials allege the spilled oil violated the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act, West Virginia Groundwater Protection Act, and Clean Water Act.

The plaintiffs seek civil penalties up to $2,100 per barrel of oil discharged for violation of the Clean Water Act, civil penalties up to $25,000 per day for violation of the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act and civil penalties up to $25,000 per day for violations of the West Virginia Groundwater Protection Act. 

They are represented by Devon A. Ahearn of Department of Justice in Washington, Fred B. Westfall, Jr. of Department of Justice in Charleston and Lauren E. Ziegler of Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number 2:18-cv-01175

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Environmental Protection Agency State of West Virginia U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Charleston Division US Justice Department

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