Contact: Anne Perry Moore, 218-723-2356
Duluth, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railway Company reached an agreement recently that resolved the company's past failure to comply with state aboveground storage tank rules at four area locations. The settlement also included alleged state hazardous waste violations at one of the company's facilities. As a result, the DM&IR will pay an $80,770 civil penalty.
The DM & IR, a Delaware-based corporation now owned by the Canadian National Railway Company, owns and operates aboveground locomotive fuel storage tanks in Duluth, Proctor and Two Harbors. The company also operates aboveground marine fuel storage tanks owned by Great Lakes Fleet Inc., in Two Harbors.
The violations were discovered by MPCA tank and hazardous waste inspection staff between April and June 2005. Some of the violations at one or more of the four locations included failure to register aboveground tanks, and failure to properly operate and maintain them. State law requires that aboveground storage tanks be protected against corrosion, have spill containment areas and leak detection systems, as well as other safeguards designed to prevent spills and leaks. The company also failed to properly label and store lead-acid batteries, used oil waste containers and filters or prevent used oil releases, which had the potential to contaminate underground waters at its Two Harbors facility.
Since discovery of the violations, the company has updated tank registrations, removed and replaced non-compliant tanks and improved truck-to-rail fueling procedures. The DM&IR is also required to complete ongoing projects to cleanup soil contamination.
Minnesota law requires owners and operators of storage tank facilities to install and carefully monitor and maintain equipment to prevent, detect, and contain leaks and spills of hazardous liquids. For more information on aboveground storage tank rules, call Chris Bashor, MPCA Tanks Compliance and Enforcement, at 651-297-8618 or toll-free at 1-800-657-3864. Additional information is also available on the MPCA Web site at www.pca.state.mn.us/programs/tanks.html.