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December 17, 2021
BNSF Railway Corporation has agreed to pay $1,513,750 to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), BNSF released approximately 117,500 gallons of heavy crude oil when one of its freight trains derailed outside of Doon, Iowa, in June 2018, resulting in discharges to the Rock River, Little Rock River and Burr Oak Creek.
"Illegal discharges of oil into streams, rivers and wetlands present a significant threat to human health and the environment," said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. "EPA is committed to protecting our nation's waterways and will ensure that Clean Water Act protections are upheld."
EPA says the derailment occurred during heavy flooding in the area. Impacts from the oil spill included an evacuation order for nearby residents, elevated levels of hazardous substances within the affected site, closure of nearby drinking water wells, destruction of crops and deaths of at least three animals.
BNSF, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America.
Discharges of pollutants, including oil, into federally protected waterways are violations of the Clean Water Act. For more information about EPA's Clean Water Act visit the enforcement programs site.
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