MM&A Under Insured For LacMegantic Tragedy & Seeking Bankruptcy Protection


MM&A carried only $25 million in insurance for an estimated loss of $200 million, including clean up at Lac Megantic.  Portland Attorney for MM&A ( and whoever those 20 anonymous investors are whose names we all need to learn).there will be no piercing the corporate veil of Rail World Inc. and their global assets to make up the difference..
I have never been to Lac Megantic but in photos I could see it is like any small Maine town and those who lost everything , including the lives of loved ones, are not in a position to navigate claims and pursue recovery of lost homes without a strong on site claims management loss assistance program on the ground.and doing active outreach at the time and immediately following. the accident.
It is not even clear given the apparent gross negligence that lead to this accident, gross negligence that was a matter of official MMA;A policy that insurance will click in at all.   Insurance covers events which are neither “expected or intended”.  What happened at Lac Megantic was  forseeable. And its unlikely the $25 million is primary.  More likely it is excess over a large self insured that ordinary working folk in Lac Megantic will have to deal with a huge corporate structure, not the claims management section of a respectable domestic insurance company for any liability claims that will really enable rebuilding. ( Does anyone in any of our state agencies even have the capacity to properly review an insurance certificate if one were presented?  Certainly I have never seen a reg by any state agency   that suggests any basic knowledge of  how property & casualty insurance works.   )
I have been waiting three weeks for MDOT to turn over the State’s lease with JD Irving of the section of track we the people purchased for $20 million from MM&A to provide relief to these still unidentified “20 anonymous investors”. (Another $10 million in public funds is being invested in upgrade of this section of track leased back to JD Irving.)
 I want to see, we all need to see, the details of that lease and I am hereby asking again, MDOT that the lease be posted at your website so we can all see what standards of safety and insurance protection attend JD Irvings operation of its leased track and whether we are getting back enough to  amortize quickly enough our $30 million investment in the section leased to JD Irving.
I want to know,we all need to know, who these “20 anonymous investors” and through whom they lobby our legislature.  “Anonymous investors” are never white knights.
I discovered doing research on Lac Megantic that through some law passed by our legislature the existing required reporting and fee for rail conveyance of petroluem product  was suspended and that repeal takes effect in 2015..This is what funds State clean up of spills.  Is this wise with JD Irving and Portland Pipeline and TransCanada all so eager to transport Alberta crude product across Maine?
And how safe is the Pan Am now doing the major weekly hauls of Bakken crude through the downtowns of dozens of Maine communities?  The Pan Am has had two de railments already moving Bakken to JD Irvings St John refinery.
How much risk should “we the people” assume because JD Irving is determined to have Alberta and Bakken crude at its St. John refinery .
Is MDOT taking advantage of every opportunity to represent the interests of “we the People” on issues of safety, risk management, adequate risk financing,, adequate fees and accountability on hazardous spills?
The way its supposed to work is that the generators of the risk  are responsible for adequate financing of that risk. On Rolling pipeline that is putting every community those trains pass through at risk that is JD Irving, Pan Am, and the about to reorganize through bankruptcy MM&A.
What are we doing to make sure one of our towns is not the next Lac Megantic all for the sake of JD Irvings corporate preference for Alberta and U.S. fracked petroleum ?
Lindsay Newland Bowker, C.P.C.U, A.R M., Environmental Risk Manager
President, NYC Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriters ( emeritus)
Board Member, NYC Risk & Insurance Management Society (emeritus)
Science & Research In the Public Interest
15 Cove Meadow Rd
Stonington, Maine 04681

August 8th Additional Information

Here is a general background on rail insurance that among oter things indicates that a typical small incident would average $30-$50 million per occurrence. Court papers on the bankruptcy show that MM&A has effectively been bankrupt long long long before it parked that train unattended on a main track with an incline..gross negligence but company policy…just to avoid a brake check and brake check report. That means that MM&A was under insured by about $5 to $20 million per occurrence as it only carried a single policy with a $25 million per occurrence limit. What good is self insurance from a nearly bankrupt company?

Among the more than 200 unpaid unsecured debts of MMA are all of its Maine employees owed severance pay and perhaps pay checks, many small business suppliers to MMA, many government agnecies and Maine utilities and of course all the investors the lawyer Clement representing MM&A in the bankruptcy petition. Jd Irving has the largest unsecured credit to MMA at $2.3 million.

How was the value of that section of track now leased to JD Irving established ? Why did we pay $20 million for the small section now leased to Irving for $1 a year. Why are we investing another $10 million (TIGER grant) of “we the people” money in that section JD Irving leases and why are tying up $30 million in public $ for this section of track that was to be abandoned by MMA. Are the services and investments JD Irving is perfrming for $1 a year a fair return on a “we the p” investment of $30 million?

Write to me if you want a copy of the court papers. I have no place to post. They are pdf and can be relayed via email.

August 10, 2013

Common Dreams Also concerned about the lost oridinary folk in this disaster

August 12, 2013

Canada suspends license of MM&A due to inadequate insurance and lack of ability to procure insurance–Atlantic-Railway-loses-Canadian-license-.html

August 15, 2013

Claims and Disaster Relief Prseece on the ground in the wake of the Lac Megantic Disaster but not clear whether anyone is assistaing with liability claims or whether there will be any assets to pursue

August 15 , 2013

350.0rg expressing the threat of rolling pipeline to Lewiston Auburn

August 18, 2013

MM&A shows addutional isurance in the short term and alowed to continue operations in Canada intil October 1

August 19,2013 No surprise here..Irving, owed $2.3 million by MM&A in negotiations to Acquire MM&A Actually I am all for this if Mainers don’t have to pay anything except for the part about rolling pipeline with noo safety program

August 20,2013 another Canadian story on Irvings potential acquisition of MM&A

August 20,2013 No Surprise here either..Pan Am Rolling pipeline derailment #3

August 21, 2013 Lac Megantics Legal system in a crisis of lost records, destroyed offices

August 21, 2013  Lac Megantic Timeline

August 21,2013 Daily Kos Says Lac Megantic Just More of the Same from Ed Burkhardt

August 21 2013

Safety issues and citizen petition for rulemaking on retrofitting of DT111 cars that were involved in Lac Megantic.  On a  per tank basis this study says amortized cost is only $500/car per year.

August 22,2013
In a stunning move Canadian regulatory authorities order Canadian Pacific Railroad to resupply MM&A with tank cars to continue its rolling pipeline operation through Maine despite Canadian Pacific Railroads written objection that MM&A does not have the infrastructure, management capacity or financial capacity to do so.


Canadian Senate Committee on Energy & Natural resources considering minimum insurance requirements for rolling pipeline

August 28,2013

Montreal Gazette Editorial says cities deserve to know about hazardous materials moving on rail so close to their homes, businesses, downtown centers.

August 29

350 Maine and Earth First stage second rolling pipeline protest in Lewiston Auburn to call attention to the unacceptably high level of risk JD Irving is exposing every Maine community to for the sake if its desire for lower costs Bakken and Tar Sands at its St. Johns refinery

August 31 2013

Shift to rail cools refiner support for pipeline. Bad news for Maine as that will continue to keep pressure on using Maine’s CalssII track to move JD Irvings Bakken and Tar Sands to Its refineries in St Johns.

September 2, 2013

Bakken to be more closely examined by Rail Safety Officials

September 3, 2013

Enbridge discovered flammability and corrosivity of Bakken and has refused to accept Bakken. “In June, Enbridge won an emergency order to reject oil with high hydrogen-sulfide levels from its system after telling the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it found dangerous levels of the compound at a rail terminal in Berthold, North Dakota. Enbridge also won FERC permission to refuse shipment of any delivery of oil with hydrogen sulfide that exceeded 5 parts per million.”
– See more at:

Two other pipeline companies have also raised concerns with regulatory officials

September 13, 2013

Canadian officials find severe deficiencies in 19 KM of MMA track in vicinity of LacMegantic disaster

September 18, 2013

Experts say lac Megantic MMA derailment is the worst environmental disaster in Canada’s history

September 22, 2013

Canadian regulators review insurance requirements for Canadian Licensed railroads

In Canada , as the government licenses railroads this would be enforceable and through insurance certificates and cancellation notices . In the U.S railroads are essentially self regulated with nominal mainly advisory oversight through the FRA.

October 5, 2013

Lac Megantic victims now possible victims of eminent domain. This is just too sad for words.

Canadian Regulatory Officals weigh minimum insurance requirements for all railways in Canada.


October 22,2013

Losses and clean up costs at Lac Megantic greater than first realized due to greater volume of JD irvings Bakken crude spilled


About lindsaynewlandbowker

Bowker Associates, Science & Research In The Public Interest, is an independent non profit providing self initiated pro bono analysis on key issues with a potential for massive adverse environmental impact . Bowker Associates has been an internationally recognized and cited voice in analysis of the Samarco failure, its consequence, and the possibilties for recovery. In 2017 we partnered with Daveid M. Chambers, a world leader in responsible mining, in our third joint work on the economics of tailings failures. Bowker, L.N.; Chambers, D.M. In the Dark Shadow of the Supercycle Tailings Failure Risk & Public Liability Reach All Time Highs. Environments 2017, 4, 75. A peer reviewed journal published investigation of the cowboy economics of the supercycle and the resulting escalation on the number and magnitude of catastrophic failures. In 2016 we parnered with Dave Chambers in our 2nd joint work together looking at root causes of failures at a conference . Bowker, L.N.; Chambers, D.M. Root Causes of Tailings Management Failures: The Severity of Consequence of Failures Attributed to Overtopping 1915–2015. In Proceedings of the Protections 2016, Fort Collins, CO, USA, 14 June 2016. [Google Scholar] In 2015 Bowker Associates collaborated with geophysicist David M. Chambers to recompile global authoritative accounts of significant TSF failures in recorded history and to analyze these data in the context of global mining economics 1910-2010 ( Risk, Economics and Public Liability of TSF Failures, Bowker/Chambers July 2015) The third annual update of this globally referenced and used compilation was just released at Researchgate. ( In 2014 Bowker Associates commissioned globally respected geophysicist and hydrogeologist Dr. David Chambers to undertake two technical works: (1) development of technical go no go criteria for vetting mine applications tp:// and (2) a case study of Maine's Bald Mountain, an un mined low grade high risk VMS deposit demonstrating the efficacy and accuracy of two risk assessment tools in vetting mine proposals In Maine, Bowker Associates has deeply engaged and been a public voice in the Searsport DCP LPG Tank, The Cianbro proposal for a Private East West Toll Road, JD Irvings rolling pipeline of Bakken crude to its plant in St. John and review of Phase II plans at The Callahan Superfund site in Brooksville, Maine, and Maine's revisitation of mining in statute and regulation... Our only “client”: is always “the pubic interest”. Our model is to focus on only one or two issues at a time so that we have a substantive command of the relevant field as our foundation for ongoing engagement. Our core work is in envirommental risk management, science and technology as well as bringing any available “best practices” models to the fore. The legal and regulatory history/best models are also a major thrust of our work in building and evaluating public policy. Director/Principal Lindsay Newland Bowker, CPCU, ARM is a recognized expert in Environmental Risk Management., Heavy Construction Risk Management and Marine and Transit Risks and has more than 3 decades of engagement in buiding public policy. Appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to New York State Banking Board (served 1986-1996); President New York Chapter Chartered Property and Casualty Insurers; Environmental Committee, Risk and Insurance Management Society; Director, Convenor/Co-Chair Bermuda Market Briefing "From Captive to Cats" Hamilton Bermuda. Published Articles of Significance The Risk Economics and Public Liability of Tailings Facility Failures, co-authored with David M. Chambers, July 2015 Beyond. Polarization: Superfund Reform in Perspective, Risk & Insurance Managing Risk For Loss Prevention & Cost Control (Jan. 24, 1997). Lead Hazards and Abatement Technologies in Construction: A Risk Management Approach CPCU Journal 1997 Employee Leasing: Liability in Limbo Risk Management June 1 1997 Environmental Audit Privilege and the Public interest Risk & Insurance Managing Risk For Loss Prevention & Cost Control, April 1997 Asbestos:Holes In Abatement Policies Need To Be Plugged, Lloyd’s Environmental Risk International, May 1993 Editor Published Letters Evironmental Risk Management Beware of Facile Policies Like Fetal Protection Business Insurance 1995(?) High Court Review May Increase Sale of Bank Annuities Business Insurances August 8, 1995 Professional Profiles Protecting the Big Apple’s Core Managing Risk For Loss Prevention & Control December 1996 Major Career Highlights First rigorous analysis showing Relationship Between declining ore grades and TSF Failures of increasing consequence ( July 2015) FIrst Documentation that Gentrification Has Same Impacts as Unassisted Displacement from Urban Renewal Sites Direted Court Ordered EIS of FHA Mortgage Scandal Created Nation's First Homeownership Program for Low Income People (SHIP) Created Earliest Geographic Information Systems Using Defense Technology Developed By IBM Designed and Conducted Parallel Census Count to Show Systematic undercount in minority neighborhoods Documented Bias in ISO Territory Rating Plans for Private Passenger Auto Insurance Using ISO's own Rating Techniques Demonstrated Inherent Bias in Mortgage Policies of Banks With Inner City Branches Demonstrated that NY Telephones Plan for Area Code Split To accommodate anticipated cell phone demand was not efficient and would exhaust in 5 years ( which it did) Undertook First Systematic Evaluation of Child Protective Services Caseload Using Multi Variate Analyic Techniques Developed Child Protective Caseload Management and Tracking System (CANTS) and directed implementation in 4 client states including Illinois, Florida and New York Created and Ran Office of Risk Management for NYC DEP the Nations largest Water & Sewer Authority . Designed, Created and Administered Nation's First Owner Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP)for High Risk Tunneling Education Masters NYU Graduate School of Public Administration BSC New School For Social Research Maine Public Schools Deering High School
This entry was posted in 350 Maine, Bakken Crude, bakken flammability, carbon emmissions, Earth First, Irving OIL, JD Irving, Lac Megantic, rolling pipeline, Tar Sands and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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