Ontario's Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has filed cost recovery orders to CN Rail for the cleanup of two derailments in northern Ontario.

But the railroad has appealed the amount to the province's Environmental Review Tribunal. 

Two trains carrying crude oil jumped the tracks and exploded near Gogama, Ont., in February and March of 2015.

Ministry abides by 'polluter pays' principle

The ministry filed two cost recovery orders to CN Rail in June 2016 for $619,343.

"We are committed to the 'polluter pays' principle and will continue to take strong action to hold the responsible parties accountable for cleaning up the spills," a spokesperson for the ministry wrote in an email to CBC News.

"The ministry continues to oversee cleanup activities to ensure all impacts to the environment are assessed, mitigated and remediated."

Cleanup fee 'significant'

The province and tribunal would not comment on the specifics of the case.

"The cost of responding to large spills is significant," a ministry spokesperson wrote.

"Provincial environmental legislation allows for the recovery of costs and we will continue to take strong action to hold the responsible parties accountable."

CN Rail tells CBC News that it plans on reimbursing the province for cleanup costs, but is appealing the amount.

The appeal hearing happened in July 2017.

The Environmental Review Tribunal states that 85 per cent of its decisions are issued within 60 days of a hearing.