AG Announces Distribution of $100,000 as Part of Norfolk Southern Agreement

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced the distribution of $100,000 to environmental organizations in McKean, Cameron and Elk Counties as the result of a criminal case prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Section.

Corbett said the $100,000 environmental contribution is part of the sentence against Norfolk Southern Corporation.

According to the criminal complaint, in June 2006 a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Norwich Township, McKean County, and spilled 42,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide (lye) into the Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek, causing millions of dollars in damage and killing over a hundred thousand fish.

In November 2007, Norfolk Southern entered a plea to two violations of the Solid Waste Management Act. In addition to the $100,000 environmental contribution, Corbett said that Norfolk Southern was also sentenced to pay a $150,000 fine to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Solid Waste Abatement Fund.

In September 2008, the operator of the train, Michael Seifert, pled guilty to a felony violation of the Solid Waste Management Act and was sentenced to serve one to two years in prison plus two years of probation, and ordered to perform 600 hours of community service.

“In addition to holding violators accountable for their actions, it is important that we work to direct settlement funds into conservation, education and public safety efforts that will benefit all Pennsylvanians,” Corbett said.

The $100,000 environmental contribution is being distributed to 14 non-profit organizations supporting various projects in and around McKean County:
-Seneca Chapter Trout Unlimited, located in Port Allegany, will receive $10,000 for stream improvement projects, such as stream bank erosion control.
-PA Cleanways of McKean County, located in Smethport, will receive $10,000 to focus on cleaning up illegal dumps and removing trash from streams in McKean County.
-McKean County Conservation District, located in Smethport, will receive $10,000 to aid in the development, improvement and conservation of McKean County’s soil, water and related resources. The money will also go to educate the community in various conservation and environmental practices and methods.
-Port Allegheny Fire Department will receive $7,500. Port Allegheny Fire Department was one of the first responders at the derailment site.
-Norwich Township Fire Department will receive $7,500. Norwich Township Fire Department was one of the first responders at the derailment site. -Bradford Township Fire Department will receive $7,500. Bradford Township Fire Department was one of the first responders at the derailment site.
-McKean County Emergency Services will receive $7,500. McKean County EMS was one of the first responders at the derailment site.
-Cameron County Emergency Services will receive $7,500. Cameron County EMS was one of the first responders at the derailment site.
-Elk County Emergency Services will receive $7,500. Elk County EMS was one of the first responders at the derailment site.
-Port Allegheny Ambulance will receive $5,000. Port Allegheny Ambulance was one of the first responders at the derailment site.
-Kinzua Fish and Wildlife Association, located in Kane, will receive $5,000 to aid in stocking and improving fish and aquatic habitats in the Allegheny Reservoir.
-Hazelhurst Fishing for Kids Club, located in Hazelhurst, will receive $5,000 to stock their trout hatchery.
-Northeast Environmental Enforcement Project will receive $5,000 to provide environmental crimes enforcement training.
-American Red Cross – McKean-Potter Counties Chapter, located in Bradford, will receive $5,000 to help fund its disaster relief efforts.

Clearfield Hospital Honors Volunteers
DuBois Chapter ARC Acknowledges Local Business Support During Perkins Fire

Leave a Reply