Tuesday, August 21, 2007

 

Ministry of Environment waiting for CN's post-derailment clean-up plan

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Ministry Waiting for CN's Post Derailment Clean Up Plan

By 250 News - August 21, 2007
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.


The Ministry of the Environment office in Prince George is watching the clock. CN has until the end of Friday to submit its plan for cleaning up the bank along the Fraser River in Prince George, where two of its trains collided on August 4th.

Sean Sharpe, Regional Manager for the Provincial Ministry of Environment’s Omineca-Peace Region says he is hopeful the clean up plan will be delivered before the deadline although he is surprised the plan hadn’t been submitted by now.

Sharpe indicates that at the time of the crash, CN had made several promises about what it would do to ensure the site was clean and there was no threat to the river. “We hadn’t received the copy of the report from their (CN’s) own consultants, and it wasn’t delivered without prodding.” That report indicated there were chemicals, consistent with diesel and gasoline spills in the soil on the bank of the river. “When we finally got the report, we went to do a site inspection and discovered the boom was no longer in the water, and fill had been dumped over the site.”

Sharpe says the clean up orders delivered to CN Friday (see previous story) were done in an effort to ensure CN follows through with its promise to clean up the site “We want to make sure there is no threat of the contaminated soil entering the river.”

Last Friday, Ministry Staff from the Provincial and Federal levels advised CN of the orders that would be coming down. The orders were issued, and the clock started ticking. If the clean up plan isn’t submitted by the end of the day Friday, the Ministry can launch legal action.

Reprinted by kind permission of 250 News, Prince George, B.C.
http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/6783/1/ministry+waiting+for+cn%27s+post+derailment+clean+up+plan?#comments

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CN Served with Pollution Prevention Order Following August 4th Crash and Derailment

By 250 News
Saturday, August 18, 2007 12:17 PM


Opinion250 reader took this photo of burning fuel pouring into the Fraser River when two trains collided in Prince George August 4th [See photo at: http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/6766/1/cn+served+with+pollution+prevention+order+following+august+4th+crash+and+derailment

CN Rail has been served a set of orders from the Provincial Ministry of the environment in the wake of the August 4th train crash and derailment in Prince George.

CN has been served with a Pollution Prevention Order and is related to environmental impacts resulting from the crash. The order requires CN Rail to:

Immediately inspect the site and take action necessary to contain and collect hydrocarbons that are now believed to be entering the Fraser River and to record those observations for review by the ministry's Environmental Protection Division.

Monitor the site daily to ensure containment and collection systems are functioning as designed and record those observations for the review of the Environmental Protection Division.

Retain a qualified professional to assess the extent of contamination at the site and develop a clean-up plan that will prevent further release of contaminants into the Fraser River.

The clean-up plan shall include a schedule for clean-up activities and monitoring for the approval of the director, Environmental Protection Division. The plan shall be submitted to the Ministry of Environment by Aug. 24, 2007.

Provide the results of any sampling or investigations within 24 hours of receipt of results.

The order also states that failure to comply with the requirements of this order is a contravention of the Environmental Management Act and may result in legal action.

On Saturday, Aug. 4, two CN trains collided near the train yards in Prince George, resulting in the derailment of one engine and three railcars, which caught fire and leaked burning diesel and gasoline down the river bank on the Fraser River.

Ministry of Environment staff, Environment Canada and the Transportation Safety Board all attended the original incident. All three agencies continue to investigate the incident.

News 250 - Prince George BC

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Are We Being Given a Fresh Coat Of White Paint in CN Crash?
One Man's Opinion

By Ben Meisner
250 Opinion
Tuesday, August 14, 2007 03:45 AM


Very quietly and with little fan fare, the events surrounding the CN train crash in Prince George are going away.

We do know now that it was one of the senior people at CN who hiked down to the crash site and uncoupled the tanks cars that contained what, we may never know.

He was the man who should get a medal of some sort for being brave enough to get the job done, but so far, nothing has been said perhaps out of fear that he should not have risked life and limb and further the question then becomes, it was on his watch the cars collided.

The residents, who would have born the brunt out of any major explosion, may never know the facts, which suggests someone is looking down their noses at the people of this city.

Are CN managers working too much in order to hold their jobs? Are they putting in hours that makes the workplace unsafe?

What is the reason that we must have management brought in from places such as Alabama in the US to manage the system in an area that is much different than what they are accustomed to?

If,as stated in some of the first broadcasts coming from the scene, some of the cars contained Methanol, were there any other hazardous tanks also attached to that train?

To make matters worse, the Transport Safety Board won’t go very far to satisfying the interests of the people in this region. The TSB is conducting a "class 3" investigation -- that being an investigation where there will be a report but no recommendations.

The whole affair smells not just from the tank car burning off 50,000 gallons of gas, but from stories coming from the scene, of police officers being told that the train crew had jumped from the inferno only to discover later the trains were being operated by remote control, to a train manifest that suddenly has no bearing on the event because, well because the tank cars didn't catch fire and blow up.

The whole event needs a fresh coat of white paint. In the end, you know that is the best we can expect.

I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s opinion.

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