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Portland, OR—On Tuesday, Jan. 31, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality was alerted to a spill of approximately 30 gallons of diesel fuel along Union Pacific Railroad tracks near Cathedral Park in north Portland.

The spill occurred during routine train travel between the Toyota Yard and the railroad yard. The fuel discharged to asphalt and railroad ballast – the large gravel under the tracks.

Union Pacific contracted with an environmental cleanup firm that conducted initial cleanup measures by applying absorbent material and using a special truck to vacuum the fuel from the ballast.
A DEQ employee inspected the area and noticed oil stains in areas along the tracks. DEQ has been in contact with Union Pacific about the staining and will continue to coordinate cleanup efforts.

Tuesday’s spill comes about two weeks after a smaller spill of diesel oil in the same area. On Jan. 13, Union Pacific reported an estimated five gallons of diesel fuel spilled along the tracks and conducted similar cleanup efforts.

None of the spilled fuel appears to have affected storm drains or the Willamette River.

Media contact: Harry Esteve; 503-951-3856;

About Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality protects protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.


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