Railway Agrees to Pay over $49,000 Penalty and Change Practices to Resolve Solid Waste Claims in Settlement with MassDEP
Pan Am Railways and its subsidiary Boston & Maine Corporation (the Railway Companies) entered into an Administrative Order on Consent with Penalty (ACOP) to resolve allegations by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) of improper storage of solid waste near railroad tracks. Without admitting liability, in March 2013, the Railway Companies agreed to pay a penalty of $49,746.50 and to improve their rail tie storage practices.
MassDEP alleged that the Railway Companies had discarded creosote treated railroad ties along railroads tracks in several Massachusetts communities, in one case causing a brush fire to become more dangerous and difficult to extinguish. MassDEP claimed that this disposal violated a number of solid waste requirements, including the requirement to obtain a solid waste facility site assignment.
The ACOP requires the Railway Companies to cease permanent disposal of railroad ties along their rail corridors, and provides a series of management requirements for railroad ties that allows for temporary storage of such ties near railroad tracks including for purposes of determining which are scrap and which may be reused, as long as various management requirements are met.