On Wednesday April 30th, yet another train carrying oil derailed and burst into flames. The Virginia spill occurred in downtown Lynchburg and caused an unknown quantity of crude to spill into the James River. Richmond, the state capital of Virginia, draws its drinking water from the James River.
Virginia is a state that is no stranger to having its water contaminated by fossil fuel byproducts.
with coal byproducts.
More than a dozen tanker cars were involved in this derailment and hundreds of people in nearby homes and businesses had to be temporarily evacuated until the fire burned itself out.
Ironically, the people of Lynchburg have been expressing their concerns about the prospect of just such an accident. They had joined the chorus of people calling for rail reform in the transportation of fossil fuels and other hazardous materials.
Hours after the crash, the US Department of Transportation submitted a package of proposed rules on oil train safety to the White House Office of Management and Budget.
The long and worsening track record of trains filled with fossil fuels harming people, rivers, wetlands and wildlife shows no signs of abating. Last year a record number of accidents and spills occurred involving trains including a deadly derailment last summer that killed 47 people and decimated the town of Lac Megantic Quebec.
© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
The Environmental and Emotional Legacy of the Lac-Mégantic Disaster
Event – Worldwide Oil Train Week of Action
More Oil Being Shipped by Rail = More Risks
Growing Opposition to Shipping Oil by Rail
Criminal Charges Leveled Against those Responsible for the Lac Megantic Disaster
The Rail Company that Decimated the Town of Lac Megantic Quebec Sold at Auction
MMA’s Bankruptcy Protection is Unconscionable
Massive Oil Spill from Train Derailment in the Town of Lac Megantic
The Dangers of Transporting Fossil Fuels
Train Derails Spilling Oil in Saskatchewan
Oil Bearing Train Derails and Explodes in New Brunswick
Train Carrying Fossil Fuels Derails Causing an Explosion and Fire in Alberta
Train Derails Spilling Coal into a BC Waterway
Video – Train Carrying Oil Derails Illustrating the Dangers of Transporting Fossil Fuels
New Government Regulation of Oil Trains
Transport Canada’s New Train Safety Rules for Transporting Fossil Fuels
CN Plans to Phase Out Rail Cars that Caused the Lac Megantic Disaster
Stop Old Trains from Transporting Oil