Virginia assesses $361,000 fine against CSX stemming from 2014 Lynchburg derailment, oil spill

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RICHMOND, Virginia — Virginia environmental officials proposed a $361,000 fine Monday against CSX Transportation for an April 2014 train derailment in Lynchburg that dumped nearly 30,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil into the James River.

The April 30 derailment saw 17 tankers derail, with three going into the James. The state Department of Environmental Quality said one tanker breached, with 98 percent of the oil consumed by fire.

Water quality checks of the James from Lynchburg to Richmond several days after the derailment found no environmental problems, the DEQ said.

The consent agreement, which the department said CSX has approved, also calls for the rail company to pay more than $18,500 for DEQ's investigative costs.

CSX will also complete restoration of the James River bank in the area of the derailment and monitor the river for any long-term environmental impacts from the incident.

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

The Lynchburg derailment briefly caused parts of downtown Lynchburg to be evacuated. An oil boom in North Dakota has increased dramatically the amount of Bakken crude traveling through West Virginia and Virginia to an oil depot in Yorktown.

On Feb. 16, 27 cars of the 109-car CSX train left the tracks during a snowstorm in southern West Virginia. That train was also hauling Bakken oil destined for Yorktown.

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