September 19, 2014
A BNSF train engine fuel tank was punctured by a large rock on railroad mile 214 between Pasco and McNary dam alongside the Columbia River. The engine’s fuel tank leaked diesel fuel to the rail bed, but has not reached the river. There is a 3,000 gallon potential for spilled diesel, but no actual amount has been confirmed. BNSF immediately hired spill response contractors to contain the spill, offload the remaining fuel, and clean-up the contaminated rail bed. BNSF has been leading the response. Ecology spill response team is en route to this remote location.
Spill response teams placed one layer of sorbent boom and three layers of containment boom in the Columbia River adjacent to the diesel fuel spill. The river will be monitored overnight and through the weekend for evidence of sheen. BNSF Railway is currently determining the appropriate process to remove diesel from the rail bed with minimal impact to the environment and rail line. The total estimated diesel volume released from the locomotive is 2,000 to 2,500 gallons.