This site was referred to the Emergency Response Unit in January of 2011 by the Brownfields Program. During a Targeted Brownfield Assessment and subsequent cleanup, a large amount of Bunker C fuel oil was discovered very near to Tin Cup Joe Creek - a tributary of the Clark Fork River in Deer Lodge, MT. The Clark Fork River is approximately 1/10 mile downgradient of the leaking fuel oil tank.
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The source of the fuel is an abandoned Bunker C oil tank used by Milwaukee Railroad to service converted steam locomotives in the early 20th century. Apparently, in the mid-to-late 1980s, the tank - a concrete box 120 feet by 70 feet by 8 feet deep with a wooden cover - caught fire. The fire department used bull dozers to push an assortment of available debris into the tank to smother the fire, releasing an unknown quantity of the 500,000 gallon capacity onto the ground around the tank, which sits approximately 50 feet from Tin Cup Joe Creek.
EPA has excavated the contents of the tank, installed a sheet pile wall to halt remaining oil from migrating to the creek and/or river, and is excavating oil-soaked soils that have already migrated toward the river.