Thursday, March 09, 2017

BNSF settles environmental lawsuit over coal car spills

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Could the conventional hopper car be going the way of the steam locomotive? In Seattle BNSF Railway settled a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups for pollution caused by open-top cars carrying coal and coke.

The Sierra Club, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Columbia Riverkeeper and four other environmental groups brought a Clean Water Act lawsuit against BNSF for dust and spillage from open-top railcars moving through the Pacific Northwest.

The Fort Worth-based railroad will clean up spilled coal and petroleum coke, and consider covering these loads, under a consent decree in U.S. District Court in Seattle. The company also will spend $1 million to help fund environmental projects in Washington State.

The groups in a statement said scientists at a trial in November 2016 testified that coal particles from railcars carried mercury, arsenic and other pollutants into waterways.




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