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Attorney General Announces Gold Creek Oil Spill
Settlement With Alaska Railroad Corporation


September 26, 2003
Friday - 1:15 am

Juneau, AK - Attorney General Gregg Renkes on Thursday announced a settlement between the State of Alaska and the Alaska Railroad Corporation concerning the State's claims for oil spill penalties and damages to Denali State Park from the December 1999 railroad fuel spill near Gold Creek.

Under the settlement, the State of Alaska will receive $125,054 to resolve the state's claims for civil assessments and oil spill penalties arising out of the fuel spill and cleanup. The Railroad has paid an additional $52,041 to reimburse state oversight costs incurred over the last year. The Railroad will reimburse future cleanup and restoration oversight costs incurred by DEC, State Parks, Fish & Game and the Department of Law and will complete necessary cleanup and monitoring as required by law.

In addition, the Railroad will complete site restoration work requested by Alaska State Parks by October 2004. The restoration work involves the removal of structures, gravel pads and preparing the site for natural re-vegetation.

"I am very happy that we could settle this contentious dispute left unresolved by the Knowles administration." said Attorney General Gregg Renkes. "The public benefits when we work together solving problems and keeping our focus on the larger objectives - in this case protecting the environment and running a profitable and hopefully expanding railroad."

The claims settled today were left unresolved by an April 2001 Consent Decree between the State and the Railroad in which the Railroad paid the State $731,500 and the incident resulted in legislation that requires the Alaska Railroad to have an improved contingency plan. The parties reached today's settlement after groundwater sampling, monitoring and modeling have shown over time that the contamination plume at the Gold Creek site is stable and that on-going monitoring was an appropriate remedy at the site. The settlement provides that if the contamination plume begins to move and threatens sensitive resources the railroad will be required to take further corrective action as directed by DEC.


Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Law
Web Site


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