The owner and operator of a railroad maintenance facility in Newport, VT, was hit with a $12,000 fine for improperly managing hazardous materials and releasing hazardous materials to the environment.

During a May 2018 compliance inspection of the Central Maine & Quebec Railway US Inc. maintenance facility, Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) workers found absorbent materials contaminated with petroleum in open, unmarked containers.

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DEC officials also discovered petroleum in the soil, which indicated petroleum from railway maintenance activities released onto the ground. The company was also keeping unidentified hazardous waste in a service building at the facility.

Hazardous waste contains dangerous chemicals that can harm public health and the environment.

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“Hazardous releases can be prevented by following storage and management practices outlined in Vermont’s hazardous waste management rules,” said Emily Boedecker, DEC Commissioner. “To avoid dangerous spills, companies need to identify hazardous materials and keep them in sealed containers in dry storage spaces. This is the law, and these common-sense practices will keep workers safe and prevent hazardous materials from reaching our soil and water.”

Following the inspection, DEC directed the company to clean up contaminated soils and implement proper storage and labelling practices for all hazardous materials on the property.

Central Maine & Quebec Railway US Inc. completed a remediation effort in July 2018 that removed over 10 tons of oil-contaminated soil and hazardous materials from the property.

The company also agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for the violations. The Environmental Division of the Vermont Superior Court approved the agreement between DEC and the company in an order dated February 15.

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