The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed upon a settlement with the Union Pacific enforcing a penalty. The enforcement action adheres to the Clean Water Act, which is considered to be violated by UP.
As a part of the agreement, UP will be obligated to pay civil penalties to the U.S. Treasury and to the U.S. state of Oregon. The former will be paid $52,500 by UP, whereas the establishment will pay a $30,000 civil penalty to Oregon as a violation of discharging oil into the Columbia River. The Clean Water Act violations supposedly occurred in 2016 when a Union Pacific train derailed, releasing some 47,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil. The massive amounts of crude oil were released across Oregon’s city Mosier that is located along the Columbia River.
A massive amount of Bakken oil was discharged to the wastewater treatment plant of Mosier, Oregon. Therefore, they were forced to completely shut down operations for two weeks. Nearly 10 gallons of the Bakken crude oil that was released passed down the treatment plant creating a sheen on the Columbia River surface. The derailed train carried 96 tank cars full of crude oil. The cars were being delivered to the U.S. Oil refining facility based in Tacoma, Washington, from New Town, North Dakota.
The incident resulted in 16 of the 96 cars wrecked, with four breached, releasing Bakken crude oil into the environment while several of them caught fire. 16,000 gallons of the total oil released was burned or vaporized.