(Washington, DC) The District announced today that it has entered a Consent Decree with CSX Transportation, Inc., (CSXT) for CSXT to contribute millions to the cleanup of lands in the District of Columbia, including the sites on the Anacostia River. CSXT will pay $7.5 million to a fund that the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) will use to finance cleanup efforts at other private sector and government sites on the Anacostia River, pay a civil penalty of $500,000, reimburse the (DDOE) future oversight costs, conduct a site-wide investigation and natural resource damage assessment, and clean up pollutants on or emanating from its Benning Road rail yard.
The Consent Decree resulted from claims against CSXT alleging that CSXT caused unpermitted discharges of petroleum products to its Benning Yard site and into the Fort DuPont stream, which in turn, discharges to the Anacostia River. Under the direction of DDOE, CSXT has begun the process of investigating and remediating the site, including designing a new improved stormwater management system. DDOE will be collaborating with other natural resources trustees including the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to assess natural resource damages and oversee implementation of restoration efforts.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray applauded the settlement and CSXT’s contribution towards addressing environmental issues that threatened the rivers, streams, and natural resources in the District of Columbia. “The CSXT settlement is good for the people of the District and good for the Anacostia River,” says Mayor Gray. “This should serve as notice that the District will aggressively enforce its environmental laws to protect the health of our citizens and our natural resources.”
DDOE Director Christophe A. G. Tulou agreed, adding that the settlement signals the agency’s and the Gray Administration’s strong intent to restore a clean and healthy Anacostia River. “This is one of several of DDOE’s efforts, so far, to address contamination along the Anacostia River,” says Director Tulou. “I am pleased that CSXT has agreed to comply fully with the District’s environmental laws and to work with us.”
The Consent Decree is available at www.ddoe.dc.gov for public comment until March 4, 2011.