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Train Derailment on the West Branch of the Upper Delaware River – Update #3

Posted on August 10 2018

In the aftermath of the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Corporation train derailment yesterday on the West Branch of the Upper Delaware River, we are attempting to piece together updated information on the response to the diesel fuel spill and other reparations being undertaken by the responsible regulatory authorities.

We are in the process of identifying which of the many authorities involved in response actions will serve as the lead agency and take responsibility for providing the public with updated information about conditions and clean-up efforts at the site.

We have made requests for an official statement from the NYSDEC that addresses updated conditions, wildlife impacts, and clean up work being done at the site but it’s unclear whether a statement will be forthcoming.

The National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River issued a press release this morning. Click here to read.

According to multiple news sources it appears highly likely the heavy rains preceding the accident were responsible for the deterioration and collapse of the culvert that lead to the derailment.

Based on information we received today at the site, the diesel fuel spill appears to be under control with no further contamination into the river. The extent of soil contamination, soil clean-up efforts, and a timeline for completion are unknown.

The broken rail line is being replaced to reactivate train mobility and damaged rail cars are being removed (we’ve seen one damaged car come through Hancock).

We are getting reports and pictures of waterfowl injured by the diesel fuel spill. We need everybody who lives near or recreates on the river in the coming days and weeks to keep a sharp eye out for injured waterfowl, residual odors, or visible fuel oil slicks particularly in the calmer near-shore eddies and pools. If you see geese or wildfowl that need help, please call Wildlife Rehabilitator Missy Runyon at 518-989-6534 or 518-965-1864.  Please take pictures and identify GPS coordinates if possible and send them to info@fudr.org and we will forward them on to the appropriate authorities.

We will do our best to keep everybody informed about ongoing response actions and conditions at the site.

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