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4,000 gallons of diesel spilled from locomotive's fuel tank, hasn't reached nearby creek
Madras, OR—UPDATE: Aug. 14 – Final spill response update

DEQ and EPA concluded on-site spill response activities last night after crews removed about 275 yards of contaminated soil and collected soil samples to assess the extent of remaining contamination in the surrounding area.

BNSF crews worked overnight rebuilding the line, which reopened today at 11:54 a.m.

DEQ expects soil sample results next week, and will monitor and coordinate ongoing cleanup activities at the site if needed. Find information about ongoing activities in DEQ’s Environmental Cleanup Site Information database:

UPDATE: Aug. 13, 3:35 p.m.

Cleanup efforts continued overnight and today along the BNSF railroad outside Madras. There continue to be no impacts from the spill on Trout Creek, and crews are maintaining absorbent booms in the creek as a protective measure.

Crews removed all locomotives and rail cars from the spill area overnight and began excavating contaminated soil from the site. Incident leaders expect to complete soil excavation today. Responders will take soil samples to assess potential levels of remaining contamination and determine next steps.

DEQ, EPA and BNSF are coordinating with representatives from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Water Resources Department, and U.S. Bureau of Land Management on the spill response and cleanup.

UPDATE: Aug. 12, 5:22 p.m.

DEQ, EPA and BNSF continue to coordinate cleanup of the estimated 4,000 gallon diesel spill outside Madras that occurred after a train derailed early Monday morning, puncturing one locomotive’s fuel tank. All locomotives and cars remain upright, and there were no injuries during the derailment.

The spill area is about 600 feet from Trout Creek. No diesel has reached the creek, but as a precaution crews have now deployed three sets of boom in the creek — the first is immediately downstream of the spill location, second is further downstream, and the third is near the confluence with the Deschutes River.

Responders will begin re-railing the train this evening, then afterward will focus on excavating contaminated soil from the area.


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and BNSF Railway are responding to a diesel spill caused by a freight train derailment along the BNSF railway outside Madras, just north of Trout Creek. An estimated 4,000 gallons of diesel from the fuel tank of one engine have released to the ground.

While the diesel has not reached Trout Creek, as a precaution first responders have deployed absorbent boom to capture any diesel in case it were to reach the creek. Trout Creek is a tributary of the Deschutes River.

The spill is about a mile from the Bureau of Land Management’s Trout Creek Campground along the Deschutes River.

Five train engines—which have diesel fuel tanks—and one railcar carrying vehicles derailed. Responders reported as of Monday morning, it appeared only one engine’s fuel tank was punctured and released fuel.

The spill derailment occurred Monday about 2:30 a.m. The cause is currently unknown. The train was carrying mixed cargo.

DEQ, EPA and BNSF are coordinating in a “unified command” to address the spill. DEQ will continue to post online updates on the response and cleanup.

Contact: Laura Gleim, DEQ public affairs,, 503-577-3697



Environment & Energy