A CSX train with 32 tarp-covered cars carrying more than 2,000 tons of contaminated soil was expected to leave a west Tennessee train yard Monday for a dumping ground in Utah, an official said.
The train has been denied dumping rights at landfills in at least three states and spent three days at a Nashville train yard before traveling 82 miles Saturday to Bruceton.Tennessee Public Service Commissioner Frank Cochran said Friday the train stayed at Nashville's Radnor yard about three days. Its next destination is a landfill in Utah, he said.
A spokesman for the Utah site said his company has no "hang-up" with the dirt, but a deal has not yet been struck to accept it.
Gary McCurstion, community affairs director for Houston-based U.S. Pollution Control Inc., said the company is waiting for test results on the soil before it agrees to store the load in Utah.
U.S. Pollution Control operates the Grassy Mountain repository in Tooele County, Utah.
"We're just waiting at this point for the test results and all the parties to come to an agreement on the terms," McCurstion said.
Tennessee Public Service Commissioner Commissioner Steve Hewlett said the train poses no threat.
"You could put it (the soil) just about anywhere, mix a little more soil with it and grow corn," he said. "The main thing is if it was dumped onto the ground and it rained and got into the groundwater . . . it could be toxic to the water supply."
Ken Alkema, director of Utah State Environmental Health, said he also is not overly concerned about the soil.
"From what I understand of the soil, it wouldn't be nearly as hazardous as much of things that are routinely transported through Utah, semi-loads of gasoline or crude or other loads of hazardous materials," he said.
The soil was contaminated by acrylic acid during a spill in 1989 train accident in Michigan. CSX said tests by Michigan and Ohio officials have shown the soil is not contaminated.
But landfills have refused to accept the soil because of publicity about the train and opposition from environmentalists, Dick Bussard, a CSX Transportation spokesman, has said.
The train has attracted publicity during its circuitous route through Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina and South Carolina.
An environmental protester has chained himself to the train twice, and Going said CSX offices had received several threats to its property and operations.
South Carolina health officials fined CSX nearly $22,000 for alleged leaks from the train after it sat in a rail yard near Sumter for several days.
CSX plans to appeal the fine but had not done so by Saturday, said Ron Kinney of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Kinney heads the agency's Division of Waste Assessment.
The order gave CSX until April 26 to dispose of the soil on the train and the soil where leaks occurred.