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Quebec government asks CP Rail to help pay for rail cleanup following Lac-Megantic disaster; CP to appeal


CP Rail is now among several companies listed on a legal notice first issued last month by the Quebec provincial government, and that demands that firms pay for the cleanup of millions of litres of crude oil following the Lac-Megantic train disaster, according to the Canadian Press.

But the railway told Transportation Media Thursday that it will appeal the notice.

“As a matter of fact, and law, CP is not responsible for this clean up. CP will be appealing,” said Ed Greenberg, spokesperson for CP Rail.

CPR was included as one of the defendants because it was the main contractor responsible for the shipment that was supposed to send the cargo from North Dakota to a New Brunswick oil refinery, said the Quebec government Wednesday.

It handed off the train in Montreal to the smaller Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd., which then operated the tanker train that jumped the tracks in Lac-Megantic on July 6.

The province had already named MMA and its Canadian subsidiary in the initial July 29 legal notice, but both companies have since filed for bankruptcy protection after stating they could not pay the mounting cleanup costs and multiple lawsuit attempts, reported the CP.

In one court filing, MMA said its insurance coverage was $25 million and estimated the cleanup cost would climb past $200 million.

“Our duty is to do everything we can to ensure that the companies responsible for this accident might shoulder the costs related to the cleanup and decontamination,” Environment Minister Yves-Francois Blanchet said in a statement.

World Fuel Services Inc. was also added to the notice. It is a subsidiary of the petroleum-logistics firm World Fuel Services Corp. The parent company and another subsidiary, Western Petroleum Company, were listed in the initial demand from the government.

The Miami-based World Fuel Services had bought the crude oil that was to be shipped to the Irving refinery in St. John, N.B.

World Fuel Services Inc. and CPR were asked to confirm within 24 hours whether they will execute the order, which falls under a Quebec environmental law.

World Fuel Services did not immediately issue a comment, said the report.