Nearly seven months after an explosion shook CSX Transportation’s Curtis Bay piers and rocked the nearby community, the company may pay a hefty fine for air pollution to the state’s environmental authority.
The Maryland Department of the Environment sent the freight rail carrier a letter this week detailing several potential violations of air quality rules. The case is being reviewed by the environmental department lawyers to determine how heavy the fine should be. The company could face up to $25,000 a day in penalties.
CSX didn’t take “reasonable precautions to prevent particulate matter from becoming airborne,” before the explosion according to the state’s letter. MDE charges CSX released emissions including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds without permission.
The site has the capacity to move 14 million tons of coal each year, some of which is used by regional coal plants for electricity in Baltimore and the rest is exported.
Coal was being transported on a conveyor belt when the explosion happened on December 30. Video from the local fire department shows fire, smoke and a loud boom can be heard. No injuries were reported.
The company claims that it went door-to-door in the neighborhood to meet with property owners on December 31. But neighborhood groups asserted that a representative of the company has never been in contact since the explosion and did not show up to the city council hearing.