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Railroad Facing Charges For Herington Spill

Associated Press - March 31, 2015 6:21 am

Prosecutors have filed a misdemeanor charge against Union Pacific Railroad over a 2012 spill of sulfuric acid after a derailment at the company’s Herington yard in central Kansas.

A criminal information filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Kansas alleges the railroad spilled 114,297 pounds of sulfuric acid from a railcar in Herington into Lime Creek.

Company spokesman Mark Davis says Union Pacific is “committed to protecting the environment now and for future generations.” He says there is no evidence of criminal intent, adding the company is disappointed by the government’s decision to pursue the misdemeanor charge.

The railroad is accused of violating the Federal Water Pollution Control Act during the Jan. 8, 2012 incident.

If convicted, the railroad is subject to a maximum fine of $200,000 per violation.