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Crude Oil Transportation: A Timeline of Failure

The following timelines list significant crude by rail accidents in North America in 2013 and 2014, as well as relevant spills from barges, tankers and pipelines relevant to proposals for the Hudson Valley.

 


Crude Oil by Rail

In 2013, far more oil was spilled from rail accidents in the U.S.—more than 1.15 million gallons—than in the previous four decades, combined. Read about it

May 2015, Heimdal, North Dakota
A tiny North Dakota town was evacuated after a train carrying crude oil derailed and 10 cars burst into flames. Link to article


February 2015, Timmins Ontario
A train carrying crude oil derails in northern Ontario, Canada spilling oil and causing a fire. Link to article


February 2015, Mount Carbon, WV
Train derailment in West Virginia unleashed a huge fireball, destroyed a home, forced residents to evacuate and and closed downstream public water supply intakes. Link to article


January 2015, Philadelphia PA
An 11-car CSX train — containing crude oil – derails in South Philadelphia prompting a hazmat situation. Link to article


April 2014, Lynchburg, Virginia
A CSX train—made up of CPC-1232 model tank cars that have been called more protective than faulty DOT-111 cars, and traveling at low speeds on a flat stretch of track—derailed, spilling a fireball of Bakken crude oil into the James River. Link to article

Lynchburg-crude-oil-train-derailment-viaWaterkeeperAlliance-732x250

Flames erupt from tanker cars carrying crude oil that derailed in Lynchburg VA.


February 2014, Vandergrift, Pennsylvania
A 120-car train carrying heavy Canadian crude from Pittsburgh to Pennsylvania derails and spills 4,000 gallons of oil. Link to article


January 2014, Plaster Rock, New Brunswick
Derailment causes an explosive fire and forces area residents to leave their homes as the oil and propane burn. Link to article


January 2014, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A crude oil train on CSX tracks derailed, leaving six oil tanker cars dangling from a bridge over the Schuylkill River. Link to article

Photo: NBC Chicago / SkyForce

Photo: NBC Chicago / SkyForce


December 2013, Casselton, North Dakota
A Bakken crude oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D., prompted the evacuation of thousands of people living as far away as five miles after a fireball spewed caustic smoke. Link to article


November 2013, Aliceville, Alabama
The derailment of 25 Bakken crude oil tank cars caused an explosive fire and an intractable spill in fragile wetlands. Link to article

Oil-soaked wetlands in Aliceville, Ala., following a November 2013 spill of Bakken crude oil following a train derailment. Photo by John Wathen, Hurricane Creekkeeper.

Oil-soaked wetlands in Aliceville, Ala., following a November 2013 spill of Bakken crude oil following a train derailment. Photo by John Wathen, Hurricane Creekkeeper.


July 2013, Lac-Megantic, Quebec
The death of 47 people and the total destruction of several square blocks in the village
Link to article

Bakken Crude oil train derailment...

Bakken Crude oil train derailment in Lac Magantic Quebec, 2013. Photo by Sûreté du Québec via Wikimedia Commons


May 2013, Jansen, Saskatchewan
Five cars on a Canadian Pacific Railway derail leaking 24,000 gallons of oil.
Link to article


March 2013, Parkers Prairie, Minnesota
14 cars on Canadian Pacific Railway carrying Canadian crude derails leaking 30,000 gallons of oil.
Link to article


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Crude Oil by Barge and Tanker

A history of accidents on the Hudson River and elsewhere point to a risk even from transporting oil in double-hulled vessels, which are more protective in groundings than collisions. These are just a few relevant spills:

February 2014, Mississippi River
A crude oil barge collision spilled more than 30,000 gallons, closing up to 65 miles of the river for days after. Just 95 gallons was recovered. Link to article


January 2013, Mississippi River
A double-hulled barge carrying 668,000 gallons of crude oil on the Mississippi River ruptured and spilled after colliding with a railroad bridge, resulting in the closure of the river for eight miles in either direction in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Miss. Link to article


December 2012, Kill Van Kull
A barge carrying 112,000 gallons of oil spilled near Staten Island, spreading an oily sheen six miles and affecting a bird sanctuary. Link to article


April 2005, Hudson River
A Hudson River barge carrying 3.1 million gallons of gasoline ruptured on Diamond Reef, near New Hamburg. Link to article


February 2003, Arthur Kill
A barge offloading gasoline on Staten Island exploded “with earthquake force… shaking businesses, homes and nerves for miles around as towering black smoke spread a pall over much of New York City.” Link to article


February 1977, Hudson River
A 420,000-gallon oil spill from a Hudson River barge near West Point was deemed “the worst spill of the year.” Link to article


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Crude Oil by Pipeline

March 2013, Mayflower, Arkansas
An Exxon heavy crude bitumen pipeline rupture spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons into neighborhoods, leading to the evacuation of homes.
Link to article


July 2010, Kalamazoo River, Michigan
An Enbridge heavy crude bitumen pipeline rupture in 2010 oiled 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, and nearly four years later, the cleanup is still incomplete.
Link to article

These geese were among hundreds of birds affected by the 2010 spill of heavy crude oil on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

These geese were among hundreds of birds affected by the 2010 spill of heavy crude oil on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


 

New York State Incidents

New York has had at least four near misses, and joint federal-state inspection blitzes have identified numerous track and rail car deficiencies in the rail yards that have been inspected.

October 2014, Fort Montgomery
CSX freight train carry hazardous material including Bakken crude, crashes into a car parked on the tracks. Link to article


February 2014, Kingston
A train with 97 empty oil cars derailed just north of Kingston, NY, near populated areas, a business district, and not far from the Esopus Creek. Link to article


February and March, 2014, Albany and Buffalo
“Inspection blitzes” identify dozens of track and tanker safety defects. Link to article


December 2013, West Nyack
A train carrying empty oil tanker cars collided with a truck at an at-grade crossing in West Nyack, Rockland County. Link to article


December 2013, Cheektowaga
A train carrying crude oil derailed in Cheektowaga, near Buffalo. Link to article


December 2012, Upper Hudson River
The first ship to leave the Port of Albany, the Stena Primorsk, ran aground just 6 miles after leaving the Port of Albany. Link to article
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