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Trinity Rail Group Fined Nearly $1 Million in Hazmat Leak Case

Trinity Rail Group/Trinity Industries, Inc., Saginaw, TX, was ordered by a U.S. District Court judge in Albany, NY, to pay $924,062 in fines, restitution, and civil penalties for negligently releasing hazardous anhydrous ammonia from a rail car into the air in August 2000. The fumes sickened many people and stopped freight and passenger rail traffic on a major New York route for 3 days. The company, which maintains and repairs railroad cars, pleaded guilty in November 2002 to charges of improperly installing a flange plate on top of a railroad tank car, causing a gasket to fail and the hazardous vapors to leak into a rail yard and nearby residential areas in Fort Edward, NY. The case was investigated by EPA, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, DOT OIG, and FRA.