by Kyle Becker, Becker News:
There has been another train derailment leading to a hazardous waste leak. This time the incident occurred in North Dakota.
As reported by KFGO, several Canadian Pacific train cars derailed “with some spilling hazardous material in Richland County.”
“Authorities say it happened around 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, March 26 just one mile southeast of Wyndmere, ND,” the report noted. “31 cars of a 70-car train derailed, with some leaking petroleum used to make asphalt. At this time, authorities are saying there’s no danger to the public.”
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“Canadian Pacific says its hazardous material experts are on scene along with local authorities to asses the situation,” the report added. “Officials say there is no fire and no waterways nearby. It’s estimated it will take seven to 10 days to clean up the mess.”
The train derailment draws further attention to the unsafe and deteriorating rail infrastructure in the United States. On February 3rd, a Norfolk Southern train derailed and caused a major environmental incident. Toxic chemicals were leaked into the air and waterways. Authorities and inspectors claim the environmental damage has been contained and toxicity levels for hazardous chemicals are within acceptable ranges.
Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is suing Norfolk Southern over the toxic chemical spill.
The Ohio AG filed a 106-page lawsuit in March to hold Norfolk Southern liable for all financial damages associated with the train derailment. The lawsuit lists 58 federal and state environmental law violations that Norfolk Southern allegedly violated, including state hazardous waste, water pollution control, solid waste and air pollution control laws.
“Norfolk Southern should have taken, but did not, appropriate steps to prevent the Derailment and resulting harm to the State, and at a minimum Norfolk Southern should have been prepared to adequately respond to the Derailment and mitigate damage immediately after the Derailment,” the lawsuit argues.
The attorney general accuses Norfolk Southern of Common Law violations, including public nuisance for the chemicals released into the environment, negligence for the operational defects and trespassing for contaminating natural resources.
“Ohio shouldn’t have to bear the tremendous financial burden of Norfolk Southern’s glaring negligence,” Yost added in a press release. “The fallout from this highly preventable incident may continue for years to come, and there’s still so much we don’t know about the long-term effects on our air, water and soil.”
The investigation certainly won’t be helped by Norfolk Southern wiping a video that showed the moments leading up to the crash, as ABC 6 On Your Side has reported.
According to a recent Harvard/Harris poll, thirty-one percent of polled voters said that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg’s response to the Norfolk Southern derailment was “poor,” while 30% said that it was “fair,” according to the results. There have been prominent Republican politicians who have called on Buttigieg to resign.
“Secretary Buttigieg refused to acknowledge the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, until his intentional ignorance was no longer tenable,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in a letter addressed to President Biden urging him to ask for Buttigieg’s resignation.
“Even after acknowledging the tragedy, he continues to deflect any accountability for the safety of our nation’s rail system,” Rubio added.
The chorus of demands for Buttigieg to resign will only continue to grow after this North Dakota train derailment and hazardous chemical spill.