Union Pacific Railroad Company to Pay $2.3 Million in Multi-Jurisdiction Hazardous
January 04, 2019
R. Scott Owens
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
January 4, 2019
Contact: Jeff Wilson, Assistant District Attorney 916 543-8000
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY TO PAY $2.3 MILLION IN MULTI-JURISDICTION HAZARDOUS WASTE SETTLEMENT
Roseville, CA – Placer County District Attorney Scott Owens announced today that Placer County Superior Court Judge Alan Pineschi has approved a settlement agreement where the Union Pacific Railroad Company will pay over $2.3 million in damages in a multi-jurisdictional environmental prosecution case. In addition to monetary penalties, Union Pacific will also implement a new environmental compliance assurance program at their respective yards in Placer, Nevada, San Joaquin, and San Bernardino Counties. This new program will designate a compliance officer to monitor and report on Union Pacific Railroad Company’s training and compliance at these facilities. This resolution was a direct result of the work of local regulatory agencies, as well as, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
According to the District Attorneys’ complaint, Union Pacific Railroad Company mishandled hazardous wastes, mishandled materials stored in aboveground storage tanks, maintained inaccurate hazardous material business plans, and was responsible for spills of hazardous substances - including petroleum, over an eight-year period. This settlement resolves the allegations made in the District Attorneys’ complaint.
Today’s settlement resolves these matters with Union Pacific Railroad Company. The District Attorney’s Office would like to commend Union Pacific on their cooperative attitude and their willingness to correct the previous deficiencies, as well as, working with us to formulate a plan to make sure these deficiencies do not reoccur. This goal will be accomplished by improving their staff training, as well as, improving the management of materials at their respective facilities.
Under the settlement, Union Pacific Railroad Company must pay $2,000,000 in civil penalties and $313,432 to reimburse the costs of the investigation. Union Pacific must also hire and pay for the environmental compliance officer to strengthen the companies’ environmental protection programs.