August 8, 1991 |
In unusually florid language, a suit filed Wednesday on behalf of anglers accused Southern Pacific Transportation Co. of being responsible for California's first "junk bond toxic spill." The suit, filed in Redding, charged the railroad with negligence in the July 14 derailment that spilled poisonous metam-sodium, alleging that Southern Pacific failed to maintain its train and tracks because it needed to cut expenses to meet heavy interest payments on its corporate debt.
August 7, 1991 |
In a dramatic reversal of earlier reassurances, state health officials warned Tuesday that the toxic herbicide that spilled into the upper Sacramento River after a train derailment last month may cause birth defects. While cautioning that the risk is remote, they advised pregnant women in the Dunsmuir area of Siskiyou County to undergo a routine blood test that can detect abnormalities of the fetal brain and spine during the first trimester.
August 22, 1991 |
A study warning that metam-sodium can cause birth defects was ignored by the federal Environmental Protection Agency until weeks after a derailed train spilled the herbicide into the Sacramento River, EPA officials acknowledged Wednesday. For months, the agency has taken no action on as many as 50 similar studies still sitting in the EPA's Washington files, studies showing that some pesticides now in use can cause cancer or birth defects, EPA critics said.
October 4, 1991 |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged Thursday that its failure to scrutinize studies of the health hazards of metam-sodium contributed to the delay in issuing warnings to Northern Californians in July when a derailed Southern Pacific train spilled the toxic chemical into the Sacramento River and killed most wildlife. "The process which led to this situation needs to be fixed," Linda J.