BNSF gets down to cleaning up really old toxic crap

Categories: Environment

toxic skull 3607882912_b8b9b64756.jpg
Image: Simon Standgaard
This just in from the better-late-than-ever department: Burlington Northern Santa Fe has agreed to finish cleaning up a patch of Anoka County real estate it first soiled with drums of powdered lead arsenate after a train wreck in 1963.

It's not as if BNSF has put off cleaning up the site for all this time; rather, it's coming back to bring the site up to snuff with newer regulations that stem from a better understanding of the once-popular pesticide's toxicity.

Via ABC Newspapers:

"When the incident initially occurred in 1963, we cleaned up the site according to standards of the time. In the 1980s, there was renewed interest in the site. The EPA determined the site met the appropriate standards, but we've continued to work on the site with the MPCA Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) program," said Amy McBeth, BNSF public affairs spokesperson.

Good thing. Nasty stuff, lead arsenate. Get it in your system and you're in for:

...severe gastrointestinal damage resulting in vomiting and diarrhea, and general vascular collapse leading to shock, coma and death. Muscular cramps, facial edema, and cardio-vascular reactions are also known to occur...

Roll out a big welcome mat for BNSF in Ramsey, folks. Work starts in the fall near the Highway 10 Burger King.

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