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Quebec accident fallout: Province adds CP to list of parties responsible for cleanup costs

The Quebec government on Wednesday announced it added Canadian Pacific to the list of companies provincial officials believe are responsible for millions of dollars in cleanup costs associated with the July 6 Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd. (MMA) derailment in Lac-Mégantic, which caused about 1.5 million gallons of crude oil to spill from damaged tank cars.

CP was the main contractor responsible for the train that was transporting crude from North Dakota to a New Brunswick refinery, according to a provincial legal notice. Near Lac-Mégantic, CP interchanged with MMA, which controlled the train at the time of the derailment.

"Our duty is to do all we can to ensure that the firms responsible for this accident bear the costs linked to the cleanup and decontamination," said Yves-Francois Blanchet, the province's minister of sustainable development, environment, wildlife and parks, in a prepared statement.

CP is appealing the province's decision to include the Class I on its list of responsible parties, said spokesman Ed Greenberg in an email.

"As a matter of fact, and law, CP is not responsible for this cleanup," he said.

The province's list also includes World Fuel Services Inc. and MMA, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because claims associated with the accident exceed the value of the railroad's assets, including projected insurance recoveries.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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