Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Environmental News Notes 5

On Monday a train owned by CSX Corp. derailed between 1:20-1:30pm in Fayette County, West Virginia. "Nearly" 30 of the trains 100 cars left the track (the quotes are because I don't know what they mean - 29 1/2, 27, what?) - okay that was CNN. According to Business Insider "As many as 15 of the 109 train cars derailed, and at least one tanker jumped the tracks and fell into the river, West Virginia Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina said."  That's okay, another source just says "The train was carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil from the Bakken shale"

Okay - I give - this was supposed to be a quick news update but the stories are all over the place in terms of basic stats.

The Dr. Seuss treatment - big train, off tracks, spills oil and explodes massively (have you ever noticed that of these explosions are either minor or massive.)

I think I got that out of my system. 

Right, so a CSX train transporting crude oil from the Bakken shale in North Dakota to Yorktown, Virginia, somehow derailed (no reported cause yet) and exploded. Fourteen or fifteen of the tanker cars were involved in the fire, which as of 9pm last night was still burning. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency at approximately 5:40pm last night. According to news reports, response efforts have been hampered by heavy snow and the area was under a winter storm warning, according to the Associated Press, and expected to get anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of snow. I guess this is why they can't even tell exactly how many train cars are involved in this. 

One home has been confirmed destroyed due to the fire, but so far there is only one reported injury - a person sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation. There might be more reports of injury, but thus far no fatalities have been reported. At least 1,000 people have been evacuated.

The train car that fell into the Kanawha River now now leaking crude oil, raising concerns over the potential contamination of the local water treatment facilities. The Montgomery water treatment plant has been shut down because it gets water from the area near the accident.

 This area is located about 30 miles from last years MCHM Chemical Spill in West Virginia.

I will update this when I get a chance.

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