Trial to consider coal pollution from BNSF coal trains

By The Associated Press

A trial set for next month will weigh whether coal dust that spills into waterways from passing BNSF coal trains violates environmental law.

 

SEATTLE (AP) — A trial set for next month will weigh whether coal dust that spills into waterways from passing BNSF coal trains violates environmental law.

Seven environmental groups sued BNSF Railway in 2013, arguing the railroad violated federal law by releasing coal pollutants into waters without a permit.

A federal judge in Seattle on Tuesday found that coal particles that fall into waterways from passing uncovered coal trains are considered "point sources" of pollution and that BNSF would be liable for such pollution if the groups prove at trial that the discharges actually occurred.

Group representatives say they look forward to proving their case about the environmental harms.

BNSF spokeswoman Courtney Wallace said Wednesday the company is confident in its legal arguments and that its coal-loading rule eliminates most coal dust issues.

Hundreds of trains carrying coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming traverse Washington state each year.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Reduce Engineering Project Complexity

Engineering document management presents unique and complex challenges. A solution based in Enter...

Revolutionizing Asset Management in the Electric Power Industry

With the arrival of the Industrial Internet of Things, data is growing and becoming more accessib...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs