An alleged “sludge dumping” incident has resulted in halting the cleaning of a railroad tunnel. According to a statement posted by the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, program director Autumn Crowe received photos of the alleged pollution in Summers County on Thursday, April 28. Crowe notified the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and received a swift response.
WVDEP responded within 24 hours of being notified of the situation. Terry Fletcher, chief communications officer for WVDEP, provided the following statement:
“A release of material from the cleaning of a railroad tunnel near Howard Creek in Summers County impacted the Greenbrier River watershed late last week. The WVDEP responded within 24 hours of being notified of the release. No fish kill has been observed and the WVDEP is in contact with the responsible party and their environmental consultant. Both the responsible party and the consultant are working to remediate the impacts and the WVDEP will continue to monitor the situation.”
Cindy Schild, director of media relations and public affairs at CSX, provided a statement regarding the incident.
“On April 28, CSX immediately halted track maintenance in the Big Bend Tunnel in Hinton, WV after we were notified that sediment that had been removed from the tunnel during this work was impacting a nearby creek. CSX has deployed containment measures and is working with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection as environmental testing and recovery efforts continue.”
At the time of writing, no other information is available regarding this situation.