CSX Transportation Inc. has appealed a $76,000 fine issued by South Carolina because of a leak from a waste-laden train, the contents of which were dumped in Utah last week.
The state Department of Health and Environmental Control fined DHEC on April 19 after discovering the train leaked a hazardous level of arsenic while it was was parked last month at a Sumter rail yard.CSX contends the DHEC order that issued the fines was "factually inaccurate." The two-page appeal, filed Friday, does not say what the company contends is inaccurate.
Julius W. McKay, CSX's lawyer in the case, refused to say Monday what the company believed was incorrect. "You ain't going to get me to tell you my lawsuit," he said. "We'll have a hearing to flesh all that out. Frankly, I don't want to try the case in the newspaper.
The inaccuracy charge is a "standard legal response," CSX spokesman Lynn Johnson said Monday.
"Basically, we have contended all along that fines were not in order," Johnson said. "At this point all we're asking for is an administrative hearing."
Johnson said the company does not know what caused the leak. "It's being investigated at the highest order. The source of it, where it came from, all that needs to talked about," he said. "Our people are anxious to get to a hearing and talk about the situation with DHEC."
The train held 2,400 tons of soil contaminated because of a 1989 chemical train derailment in Michigan. Landfills in several states, including South Carolina, refused to take the waste, even though officials said it was not hazardous.
Environmental protesters chained themselves to the train in Sumter, a repeat of an incident that happened in Michigan.
The train's contents were finally dumped in Utah last week.