Police & Fire

Railway fined over fuel spills during Maine derailments

By Christopher Burns, Bangor Daily News Staff

A Canada-based railway company has been fined for Clean Water Act violations stemming from two train derailments in Maine.

Under the terms of the settlement announced June 12, Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Kansas City, the parent company of Central Maine & Quebec Railway, will pay a $16,544 fine and buy an off-road response vehicle to the fire department that first responded to the derailment near Jackman, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Transportation companies using, storing or handling fuel oils have responsibilities to prevent spills and contamination of the environment,” EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash said in a statement. ”This settlement highlights EPA’s commitment to protecting America’s waterways and ensures communities, including Tribal communities and the natural resources they depend on, are protected from hazardous substances that can harm human health or the environment.”

In October 2022, a train owned by the company derailed in Orneville, an unorganized township east of Milo, spilling a small amount of diesel fuel in a forested area near Dead Stream. Three engines and six cars were involved in that derailment.

The following April, another train owned by Canadian Pacific derailed in Sandwich Academy Grant Township east of Jackman. That derailment involved three locomotives and four lumber cars. It spilled fuel, hydraulic fluid and engine oil, as well as set the surrounding woods on fire. The 500 gallons of fuel spilled near the Moose River, raising concerns among anglers about the impact on waterways.

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