Mosier Oil Train Derailment

All POL/SITREP's for this site Mosier Oil Train Derailment
Mosier, OR - EPA Region X
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Mosier Oil Train Derailment - Removal Polrep

EPA Emergency Response

Region X

Subject: POLREP #2
Mosier Oil Train Derailment
Mosier, OR
Latitude: 45.6848810 Longitude: -121.4022350

From: Richard Franklin, On Scene Coordinator
Date: 6/4/2016
Reporting Period: 6/3/2016 5:00 pm - 6/4/2016 5:00 pm

1. Introduction
  1.1 Background
Site Number: E16006    Contract Number:  
D.O. Number:      Action Memo Date:  
Response Authority: OPA    Response Type: Emergency
Response Lead: EPA    Incident Category: Removal Assessment
NPL Status: Non NPL    Operable Unit:
Mobilization Date: 6/3/2016    Start Date: 6/3/2016
Demob Date:      Completion Date:  
ERNS No.:    State Notification:
FPN#: E16006    Reimbursable Account #:

1.1.1 Incident Category
Emergency response to a threat of discharge of oil to navigable waters of the US.

1.1.2 Site Description

A 96-car unit train of Bakken crude oil derailed within the town of Mosier, Oregon along the Columbia River.  The derailment took place along a rail line at or very near the crossing of Rock Creek, a tributary to the Columbia River.  Local, regional and state fire fighting agencies assumed initial command of this incident while additional state, tribal, and federal responders mobilized to the site to assist with air monitoring, prepared for a release of oil from the site, and formed Unified Command. Location

The derailment occurred in the town of Mosier, Wasco County, Oregon on the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) main line at UPRR milepost 68.5.  The derailment and fire were approximately 130 yards south of I-84 near Exit 69 and just east of Rock Creek, which is a tributary to the Columbia River.  The site is approximately 35 miles upriver and east of the Bonneville Dam. Description of Threat

Sixteen (16) cars of bakken crude oil derailed.  Four of those oil cars caught on fire and created an additional wildland fire impacting less than 1 acre.  The fire was extinguished at 2am on 6/4/2016.  The evacuation zone has been reduced from 1/2 to 1/4 mile.

1.1.3 Preliminary Removal Assessment/Removal Site Inspection Results

At first light this morning, a rainbow sheen was noticed on the Columbia River.  The sheen is bubbling up from the river bed, appearing approximately 8 feet off the bank, and 50 feet upstream of the confluence of Rock Creek and the Columbia River.  The exact pathway of the oil is under investigation at this point, but is speculated to be either a storm sewer outflow, or groundwater upwelling.  It is not flowing overland into the river. 

This area is home to federally listed endangered fish including juvenile coho salmon and winter steelhead.  The incident also comes at a critical time for sockeye salmon as they migrate through this stretch of the Columbia River.  This is also a stretch of the Columbia River with known archeological resources.


2. Current Activities
  2.1 Operations Section

2.1.1 Narrative

Now that the fire is extinguished and there is sheen on the water, the federal and state environmental response is ramping up and the fire response is ramping down.

2.1.2 Response Actions to Date

Air and on-water operations were mobilized to conduct reconnaissance and to collect, capture, and remove the oil sheen.  At this point all sheen is being contained and recovered with sorbents. The oil is bubbling up into the river channel from the subsurface.  No oil flowed overland.  The pathway for the oil getting into the river is being investigated.  WA Dept of Ecology is collected water samples to characterize the impact of the sheen.

Air and on-water operations were mobilized to conduct reconnaissance and to collect, capture, and remove the oil sheen.  At this point all sheen is being contained and recovered with sorbents. 

Air monitoring is ongoing, and so far has recorded no contaminants of concern.

2.1.3 Enforcement Activities, Identity of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs)

UPRR, as the railroad company owning this rail line, is the only PRP identified as of this time.

2.1.4 Progress Metrics

Waste Stream Medium Quantity Manifest # Treatment Disposal

  2.2 Planning Section

2.2.1 Anticipated Activities
Continue to work with UPRR, their contractors and other regulatory partners to maintain a well coordinated interagency Incident Management Team.

A robust Environmental Unit is being stood up at the incident to manage risks to cultural resources and assist with operational planning for the oil cleanup. Planned Response Activities

Continue to conduct air and water monitoring and sampling.  Plan for site cleanup work.  Ensure adequate coordination with trustees to response decisions that are protective of cultural resources, natural resources and endangered species.


2.2.2 Issues

Transloading and rerailing activities will be concurrent with environmental response activities. 

Commercial boat traffic is projected by US Coast Guard to be light over the next few days.  Because no impacts to the Columbia River have been observed, it is not anticipated that the river will be closed to boat traffic.

The sockeye salmon are just beginning their run, and may be impacted by oil in the river.

  2.3 Logistics Section

Response assets have been mobilized by numerous tribal, state, and private parties.

EPA has sent air monitoring equipment, two emergency response trucks and a mobile command post.

  2.4 Finance Section
    No information available at this time.

  2.5 Other Command Staff
    No information available at this time.

3. Participating Entities
  3.1 Unified Command

Mosier Volunteer Fire and Rescue, OR Department of Environmental Quality, Washington Department of Ecology, US Environmental Protection Agency, Yakama Nation, UPRR

3.2 Cooperating Agencies

OR State Fire Marshal, OR Department of Transportation, OR Health Agency, OR Emergency Management, Confederated Tribe of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, US Dept. of Interior, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, US Forest Service, US Coast Guard, US Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, National Pollution Funds Center

4. Personnel On Site

EPA FOSCs Richard Franklin, Mike Boykin, Angie Zavala, Brooks Stanfield

Fire Departments (15)

UPRR (2)


EPA PIO Judy Smith, Kay Morrison

USCG (2)


Washington Department of Ecology (6?)

Yakama Nation Emergency Responders(4?) 


5. Definition of Terms
  No information available at this time.

6. Additional sources of information
  No information available at this time.

7. Situational Reference Materials
  No information available at this time.