BOUNDARY COUNTY, Idaho — There is no longer a threat of oil or hazardous material release in the Kootenai River after a BNSF train derailed and entered the water early in the morning on Jan. 1.
According to Boundary County Emergency Management, the United States Environmental Protection Agency determined "there is no longer a threat of release of petroleum products or other hazardous substances to the Kootenai River."
A BNSF train derailed and fell into the river due to a rockslide early in the morning on Jan. 1, causing oil from the train to spill into the river. According to BCEM, skimmers captured approximately 180 gallons of diesel with containment booms in the river.
Divers were also contracted by BNSF to empty a fuel tank from the engine and crank case in the river, but divers only recovered river water, according to the BCEM.
Contractors also conducted surveys on all shorelines unreachable by boat and only found two small collections of oil that have since been removed, according to Boundary County.
Crews will continue to monitor water quality and the environmental aftermath, provided by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Boundary County and BNSF.