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Railroad Agrees to Pay $140K For Oil Spill Near Guernsey

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company has agreed to pay a fine of $140,000 in connection with a 2019 oil spill.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that the organization settled with BNSF to pay for alleged Clean Water Act violations associated with an oil spill into the North Platte River near Guernsey.

In February 2019, a derailment of three locomotives and three rail cars owned by BNSF caused a spill of 5,900 gallons of diesel fuel and 800 gallons of lubricating oil into the river in Wendover Canyon, northwest of Guernsey.

Two of the derailed locomotives were the sources of the diesel and oil.

BNSF reported the spill and an EPA coordinator was dispatched to the site. The railway company worked with the EPA and the state of Wyoming to clean up the spill.

The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances to waters of the United States or its adjoining shorelines in quantities that may be harmful to public health.

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