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U.S. EPA, Union Pacific agree to $10,000 settlement for alleged oil discharges in Martinez, CA

Release Date: 01/11/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711,

(1/11/06) SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled with Union Pacific Railroad Company for $10,000 in fines for alleged oil discharges into Suisun Bay from its Ozol Service Track Area in Martinez, Calif.

“The fine to Union Pacific is a reminder that all companies need to prevent oil spills to shorelines and ocean waters,” said Keith Takata, director of the EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Superfund Division. “Companies must have plans and measures to prevent oil spills and releases to the environment.”

In February 2005, an EPA official responded to a report of an oil discharge from the company’s service track area into Suisun Bay in the northwestern portion of San Francisco Bay. The area is used for a train service station that includes the maintenance and re-fueling of train engines. The oil discharge originated from oil-stained soil and pads surrounding the railroad track located along the shoreline. The oil entered an adjacent storm drain and drained into Suisun Bay.

In June, the EPA ordered the company to submit a work plan that includes a firm schedule to study, design and implement measures to prevent oil spills. The order also required Union Pacific to investigate the extent and concentrations of oil contamination from the railroad track area that have entered or threaten to enter Suisun Bay. The work required under this order has since been completed.

Oil spills and other contamination from onshore sources can pollute and harm marine life. The EPA requires companies that spill oil to immediately respond to the discharge and implement spill prevention measures to prevent a future discharge of oil into the ocean.

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