Oregon coast train derailment cleanup effort ends

NEWPORT, Ore. (KGW) — Oregon environmental officials say cleanup is nearly complete following a Feb. 10 train derailment near Newport that spilled an estimated 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

The derailment involved a Portland & Western Railroad train at a Georgia-Pacific mill in Toledo, about five miles east of Newport. The spilled diesel came from a punctured fuel tank on one of the three derailed locomotives, according to officials at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

After the locomotives were removed, crews from an environmental contractor hired by Georgia Pacific excavated the area under the track to remove the contaminated soil, digging up and hauling away about 1,600 tons in dump trucks to the Coffin Butte Landfill and then bringing in replacement soil.

DEQ officials said an unknown amount of fuel flowed into a storm drain that connects to the Depot Slough, which in turn feeds into the Yaquina River. Crews deployed floating booms on the slough to act as a barrier and prevent the spill from spreading, and officials said no oil sheen has been seen on the river.

The excavation work was finished last week and the tracks have been repaired, officials said, but the booms will remain on the slough until there’s no more sheen visible from the storm water drainage. There have been no reports of harm to wildlife, officials said.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation, DEQ said in its initial news release.


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