Quebec seeks Lac-Mégantic cleanup cash from CP Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway is now on the Quebec government's list of targets as it seeks to recover the cleanup costs from the Lac-Mégantic disaster.
The big railway has been added to a legal notice issued by the provincial government, which wants companies to pay for the water and soil cleanup.
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CP has been added to the list because, the government said Wednesday, it was the main contractor responsible for the fateful oil shipment from North Dakota to New Brunswick.
That railway then arranged to use a line belonging to a smaller company — the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, which has since filed for bankruptcy protection.
The derailment killed 47 people, caused a mass evacuation, dumped pollutants into the water and soil and has left the town worried that its centre might not be suitable for rebuilding. A criminal investigation has begun and there are already multiple lawsuit attempts.
"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-François Blanchet said in a statement Wednesday.
MM&A had already been named in the original July 29 legal notice, as had the Western Petroleum Company.
Now two companies are being added to it: CP and Miami-based World Fuel Services, which had bought the crude oil to be shipped to an Irving refinery in New Brunswick.
The companies are being asked to confirm within 24 hours whether they will execute the order, which falls under a Quebec environmental law.
A spokesperson for CP said the company has received the notice and is reviewing it.