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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

BNSF fined for 239 report violations

A BNSF freight train rolls through the Marshall area just south of Spokane Wash. (SR file photo)
A BNSF freight train rolls through the Marshall area just south of Spokane Wash. (SR file photo)

BNSF Railway Co. has been fined nearly $72,000 by Washington regulators for failing to report leaks from crude oil shipments and other spills in a timely matter. Railroads must report accidental releases of hazardous materials to the state Emergency Operation Center within 30 minutes after they learn of the spill. BNSF violated the rule 239 times between Nov. 1, 2014, and Feb. 24, 2015, according to an investigation by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission. Fourteen spills and leaks occurred during that time, investigators said. Each day the railroad failed to report the spill counts as a separate violation, with a possible fine up to $1,000, said Amanda Maxwell, the UTC’s spokeswoman/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

DFO: $72,000 is a slap on the wrist for BNSF. I'm sure that they consider it a small price to pay for doing business the way want. Thoughts?



D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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