CSX Mt. Carbon Crude Derailment

All POL/SITREP's for this site CSX Mt. Carbon Crude Derailment
Mt. Carbon, WV - EPA Region III
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CSX Mt. Carbon Crude Derailment - Removal Polrep

EPA Emergency Response

Region III

Subject: POLREP #2
CSX Mt. Carbon Crude Derailment

Mt. Carbon, WV

From: Dennis Matlock, OSC and Melissa Linden, OSC
Date: 2/19/2015
Reporting Period: 1900 2/17/15 - 1900 2/18/15

1. Introduction
  1.1 Background
Site Number: Z3MR    Contract Number:  
D.O. Number:      Action Memo Date:  
Response Authority: OPA    Response Type: Emergency
Response Lead: EPA    Incident Category:
NPL Status: Non NPL    Operable Unit:
Mobilization Date: 2/16/2015    Start Date: 2/16/2015
Demob Date: 2/16/2015    Completion Date:  
ERNS No.:    State Notification:
FPN#: E15304    Reimbursable Account #:

1.1.1 Incident Category

Oil Pollution Act (OPA) Response; Emergency Response

1.1.2 Site Description

The location of the CSX derailment is along the left decending bank (LDB) of the Kanawha River, approximate mile point (MP) 88.7, at the confluence of Armstrong Creek. The derailment originated on the eastern descending hillside adjacent to Rt. 61, directly west of Adena Village and northwest of the Town of Mt. Carbon, WV. The train consisted of 109 railcars (107 tank cars and two buffer cars), with two locomotives. Of the 107 tank cars containing oil, 28 of the cars derailed and 19 cars were involved in fires. The discharge area is located between the railroad track, along the eastern descending hillside towards the confluence of Armstrong Creek and the Kanawha River. The Site consists of: the 28 derailed tank cars and associated oil-contaminated soils, approximately 35 by 115 feet in area; the adjacent LDB of the Kanawha River and shore line; and the surface waters of the confluence of Armstrong Creek and the Kanawha River. Location

The incident is located in Mount Carbon, WV. Description of Threat

Discharge of Bakken Crude from 28 derailed traincars that spilled into Armstrong Creek; which flows into the Kanawha River, a navigable waterway.

1.1.3 Preliminary Removal Assessment/Removal Site Inspection Results

The Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) has mobilized their hazmat team, security and cleanup contractors to the site. Initial efforts consisted of controlling fires and placing initial boom in Armstrong Creek. Local Fire Department responded to the incident. Initial surface water sampling was done by barge where 4 samples were collected in the Kanawha River. WVDEP, EPA and CSX took split samples of those 4 initial surface water samples. CSX began collecting roving air monitoring data and set sample locations for VOCs and PAHs in the community impacted.

2. Current Activities
  2.1 Operations Section
    2.1.1 Narrative

Operations have moved to a 24-hour operating period.  Ice was reported to be covering approximately 80% of the river and was approximately 1” thick.  The fire was reported to be 85 – 90% contained.  It was reported that there was an area of soil, approximately 35’ x 115’ that was 75% saturated with oil. 


A helicopter was staged at a helispot at Valley High School located in Smithers, WV.  Overflights of the site were conducted when weather permitted.  Aerial photographs of the spill area were obtained in order to assess the scene.  It was planned that the helicopter would conduct an additional overflight on 2/19/2015.  The helicopter also planned to fly upstream and downstream over the Kanawha River to visually investigate any oily presence on the river.  The Kanawha River remained closed to maritime traffic.


During the evening of 2/17/2015, the UC was restructured and Operations and Public Information were moved to a separate location from the UC.    A Site Safety Plan and Community Air Monitoring Plan have been completed.  The state EOC in Charleston, WV closed at 0800 hours on 2/18/2015.  WVDEP representatives maintain a presence in the UC.


Two tractor trailer loads of drinking water were delivered to City Hall for distribution to the residents who are under the boil order.  Power and water service was restored to the affected areas.  Approximately 100 – 225 people were still displaced by the evacuation.  The number was difficult to ascertain due to some of the residents staying with family and not in CSX provided hotels or volunteer provided shelters.  Some residents were also returning to their homes despite the evacuation order that was still in place.


A dead muskrat was discovered near the spill location.  The West Virginia Fish and Wildlife Services were contacted.  A second muskrat was inadvertently killed during upright of one of the derailed tanks.


The fire continued to burn throughout the night and following day.  CSX confirmed that 19 tanks were initially involved in the fires, either on fire, torn and leaking product, or soot covered.  Due to the continued fire, no pumping activities were completed.  The temperature of the product was too high to allow for pumping activities.  Firefighting efforts were put on hold during the night hours due to the low temperatures.  Equipment was moved into place during the day, to begin the re-railment process on 2/17/2015, but no re-railment was completed due to daylight constraints.  On 2/18/2015, a car was re-railed at the site.    One crane was removed from service after a winch cable broke; there were no injuries due to the break in the cable.  Workers tried unsuccessfully to separate cars 27 and 28 from each other.  Permission was given to cut the twisted portion of the tankers as long as a Safety Officer was present during the work, continuous air monitoring was conducted in the immediate area of the cutting, and a Hot Work Permit was issued.  Cars that were not involved in the fire were moved away from the spill site.


CSX was working with residents of the affected area to obtain access permits to shore up the bridge access to their properties to facilitate the movement of large equipment for the cleanup activities that will be necessary after the tanks are removed.  Permission was verbally granted by the resident with the condition that no press or onlookers were allowed on his property.


Recovered oil from the site was being delivered to a frak tank storage farm at the CSX facility in Handley, WV.  The material was being stored for the duration of the spill clean-up.  After the spill clean-up it would be sent for waste characterization testing and disposal.   


WVAWC continued to sample the raw and processed water hourly and provided reports every 12 hours to the UC.  Their agreement with the UC allowed them to keep operating as long as results were clean and they assured the UC that they would report immediately if they obtained any negative results.


CSX’s contractors continued to deploy skimmers in the creek and continued to vacuum loose oil from the creek surface.  It was reported that an estimated 8,032 gallons of material, which was estimated to be 1/3 product and 2/3 water, was collected.  Two 200-feet sections of boom were deployed in the river.  Concrete 40# weights were used to secure the boom. 


A meeting was held at the EOC to discuss the plan for displaced residents and their re-entry to their homes.  The meeting was attended by the UC and the local Fayette County LEPC.  A plan was discussed and would be implemented after it was approved and the conditions for re-entry were met. 


The EPA, WVDEP, and EPA START contractor were escorted to the derailment site by a member of the CSX Safety Team.  Personnel documented the activities at the site, both in writing and photographically.

2.1.2 Response Actions to Date

Response actions to date focussed on restricting access to the incident site and evacuating residents in the Boomer Bottom and Adena Village areas.

2.1.3 Enforcement Activities, Identity of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs)

CSX is the potentially responsible party.
CSX has been responsive, employing multiple cleanup contractors and environmental consultants to advise them on the technical aspects of the response. CSX has also provided their hazmat team and security on-site. OSC Matlock will coordinate with EPA and USCG enforcement personnel, as appropriate.

2.1.4 Progress Metrics

Waste Stream Medium Quantity Manifest # Treatment Disposal

  2.2 Planning Section
    2.2.1 Anticipated Activities

EPA will continue to work within Unified command to provide oversite throughout the incident. Planned Response Activities

Additional Boom will be placed within Armstrong Creek and the Kanawha River. Install an interceptor trench to collect oil before entering the Armstrong Creek. Place vac trucks to collect oil within boom and from interceptor trench. Containment of the fires and beginning assessment of impacted rail cars. Air monitoring and air sampling within the impacted communities will continue. Hourly samplling of raw and finished water of the drinking water plant will continue. Transfer product from impacted cars and remove impacted cars from the rail line. Excavate impacted soil and dispose of appropriately. Restore basic functionality of maritime transportation system infrastructure. Restore rail operations.

2.2.2 Issues

Approximately 225 people were evacuated from their homes around the incident area. Due to shutting down the Montgomery water intake a boil water advisory has been issued for the area.

  2.3 Logistics Section
    EPA will continue to have 3 START on-site.

  2.4 Finance Section
    No information available at this time.

  2.5 Other Command Staff
    No information available at this time.

3. Participating Entities
  3.1 Unified Command

Montgomery Fire Department
United States Coast Guard (USCG)
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)

3.2 Cooperating Agencies

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

U.S. fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA)

WV Army National Guard Civil Support Team (ANG CST)

WV State Police

Montgomery Police Department

WV Department of Highways (WV DOH)

WV Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety (DMAPS)

WV American Water Corporation (WVAWC)

Red Cross

4. Personnel On Site
  2 Region 3 EPA OSCs
3 START contractors

5. Definition of Terms
  No information available at this time.

6. Additional sources of information
  No information available at this time.

7. Situational Reference Materials
  No information available at this time.