Info on the Lynchburg oil train explosion

by Jason Schwartz

May 1, 2014

The large train derailment, fire, and oil spill in Lynchburg, Virginia has been making headlines today. The fire was enormous, and about 50,000 gallons of oil is “missing,” as in burned off or spilled into the James River. The James is a primary source for drinking water for the city of Richmond.

Virginia Bomb Train ExplodesYou may have noticed that trains carrying oil have been crashing a lot recently, many of them exploding. Anarticle over at the Huffington Postsheds some light on what is becoming a serious public safety concern. This most recent crash occurred some distance from town and there were no casualties. But these heavy trains pulling oil in carsnot up to the taskof handling the extremely flammable oil from the Bakken shale have been likened to bombs on the rails.

If you’re looking to get some more context on the recent crash, we highly recommend you check out DeSmog Blog’s coverage of it, which is being handled by Steve Horn.

Today, Horn made it clear that the oil the train was carrying was indeed crude from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and was headed to Plains All American’s huge holding facility in Yorktown, Virginia. As Horn puts it: “Yorktown may become a key future site for crude oil exports if the ban on exports of oil produced domestically in theU.S.islifted.”

Check out that post here.

Check out some more context from yesterday here.

Top photograph by Upper James Riverkeeper

Jason Schwartz

By Jason Schwartz

Jason Schwartz is a media officer for Greenpeace USA based in New York City.

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