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Train Derailment Sends 4,000 Gallons of Diesel into Delaware River

On Thursday, August 9, a train carrying various types of waste, including hazardous materials and diesel fuel, derailed in Deposit, NY,  on the Delaware River. The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway train was traveling west from New Jersey to Binghamton along the West Branch of the Delaware River with four locomotives.

Reportedly, one car contained corrosive material and thirteen cars contained hazardous contaminated soil. As much as 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the West Branch of the Delaware from at least one of the locomotives.

A State of Emergency was declared for the Town of Deposit due to severe flooding following heavy storms Wednesday night.  The train derailment was believed to have been caused by railroad tracks and a culvert washing out due to the storms.

Fast moving water is making it difficult to capture the oil, resulting in some of the diesel fuel being swept downstream, potentially impacting water quality, river uses and wildlife for long distances.

But Matt Franklin, director of emergency management for the Department of Environmental Conservation, says, “There doesn’t appear to anything floating downstream than sheen and odors and that will float on the surface and evaporate from the wave action and the sun and heat mile thick of oil.” (Via WNEP news)

Over 17 million people rely on the Delaware for drinking water, including New York, Philadelphia and South Jersey, according to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

The oil that was spilled had moved very quickly downstream with the high flows from the storms, Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, told Environmental Leader. “The National Park Service reports it has reached as far south on the river as Bucks County… The material is likely to get stuck at eddies or spots where the flowing water slows down.”

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