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Last month, the EPA reached a settlement with Union Pacific Railroad Company over violations of the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act. Union Pacific operations at 20 rail yards in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming violated EPA regulations for Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) and Facility Response Plans. Allegations included oil & coal spills as well as inadequate SPCC plans and/or inadequate SPCC plan implementation. The settlement reached includes a payment of $1.5 million by Union Pacific.

SPCC regulations require facilities to prepare, amend and implement plans that establish practices and procedures to prevent the discharge of oil into the navigable waters of the United States. Minimizing spill potential as well as preparing for rapid spill response are key components of any plan. SPCC Plans are required if a facility maintains more than 1,320 gallons of aboveground oil storage and/or 42,000 gallons of underground oil storage.

More details about the Union Pacific violations can be found on the EPA's website.