NEW YORK – CSX has notified state officials of its plans to bypass the scene of a crude train derailment and continue delivering oil to a terminal on the Virginia coast, emergency management officials from Virginia and West Virginia said Wednesday.
A train carrying North Dakota crude to an oil depot in Yorktown, Virginia, derailed on Monday in a small town 33 miles southeast of Charleston, causing 20 tank cars to catch fire. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were still small fires at the scene.
Early last year, the Obama administration ordered all rail operators to disclose their crude routes to local and state emergency management officials. The companies must also report any changes.
“All appropriate state notifications are complete for re-routing of oil shipments that would typically use that line. Those shipments will use a combination of CSX and other railroads to reach eastern Virginia destinations,” CSX spokesman Gary Sease said in an email Thursday.
CSX has notified West Virginia and Virginia officials of its plans to use other rail lines to deliver crude oil, state officials confirmed. Part of the plan is to use a Norfolk Southern line, West Virginia officials said.
States have taken differing approaches to releasing the routes to the public. Some see a risk of attacks or sabotage if routes are disclosed and say it is confidential company information. Others regard it as the public’s right to know. West Virginia refuses to disclose the routes, while Virginia does.
“That’s the best legal advice we have. It’s proprietary information, said Chris Stadelman, a spokesman for West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat.
In the past, Virginia has released the details, and a state official was determining whether to release the changes.
(Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; editing by Andrew Hay)