Police & Fire

Work to remove derailed Canadian Pacific-Kansas City freight train continues

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Land Use Planning Commission announced that work is continuing at the site of the Canadian Pacific Kansas City freight train derailment in Sandwich Academy Grant Township in Somerset County.  

The removal of oil-contaminated soil from the site started late last week and continued into the weekend. To concentrate on strengthening erosion control and contaminant retention measures in advance of the severe rain forecasted for Sunday, April 30, and Monday, May 1, soil removal operations were suspended on Sunday.  

As was to be expected, the area was muddy from the heavy rain, and upon assessment of numerous sites, it was determined that the water still included a significant amount of silt. Personnel were working to remove the free product from the upstream area of the railroad tracks in the vicinity of a locomotive to the culvert. Cleanup personnel were also patrolling the stream for emulsified oil/fuel product.  

Additional erosion controls, including hay bale check dams and silt fencing, were installed strategically near the rail tracks. Erosion controls were also installed near the adjacent wetland. A preliminary plan was announced to install more erosion controls in strategic locations. Additional diesel was removed from a locomotive during the scrapping process by a Hi-Rail Vacuum truck under the direction of DEP Emergency Response personnel. Work on the third and final locomotive is beginning. 

Replacement of the temporary culverts installed under the railroad tracks with a permanent water crossing is scheduled for Wednesday, May 10. CPKC is coordinating the installation with DEP Emergency Response, DEP Technical Services, and LUPC. 

Starting the week of May 7, LUPC will replace DEP as the lead agency for long-term recovery plans and actions. DEP will continue managing and approving actions to remediate contamination while LUPC coordinates and communicates with state agencies involved in the overall cleanup and restoration effort. Ongoing CPKC derailment cleanup updates and recovery will be posted on the LUPC website

On April 15 a CPKC freight train derailed due to a rail-line washout in Sandwich Academy Grant Township in Somerset County. The aftermath of the derailment prompted a difficult cleanup overseen by the DEP to remove the wreckage and minimize the environmental damage caused by the diesel, hydraulic fluid, and engine oil spillage. The Moose River, a tributary to Little Brassua Lake, was and continues to be impacted by the derailment. Efforts toward a successful outcome are being led by CPKC, with oversight by the LUPC. Learn more on the LUPC website.

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