Oregon officials say the crash of a Union Pacific oil train in the Columbia River Gorge last week released 42,000 gallons of crude from four rail cars into the soil, the wastewater system and the Columbia River.
State transportation officials announced today that they've recovered 10,000 of those gallons from the wastewater system in the town of Mosier. The other 32,000 gallons of oil seeped into the soil or were vaporized during the fire, officials say.
The first estimates of how much crude was spilled in the crash comes as four members of Oregon's congressional delegation joined Gov. Kate Brown in calling for Union Pacific Railroad to halt the traffic of oil trains through the Columbia River Gorge.
Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici released the joint statement with Brown.
Here's the full statement.
“Oil train tankers are still lying on their sides in Mosier, the ground and water have yet to be cleaned up, and there’s still no good explanation for the cause of Friday’s crash. It is too soon to resume oil train traffic through the Columbia River Gorge. Union Pacific should not resume oil train traffic before meeting with the community of Mosier and giving a thorough explanation for the cause of this accident and an assurance that the company is taking the necessary steps to prevent another one. A train full of toxic crude oil derailing, burning, and exploding near homes, schools, and businesses is a worst fear realized for people who live in Mosier and in other communities along the tracks throughout the Gorge. They deserve to know that the causes of this derailment have been both identified and fixed, and there should be a moratorium on oil train traffic until they get those explanations and assurances. We will also be pushing for the Department of Transportation to take a hard look at alternative routes for oil and hazardous material trains that would put fewer Oregonians at risk of a dangerous crash in their backyards.”