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Crews Work Through Weekend To Clean Up Train Derailment Site

Posted: Updated:
DELAWARE COUNTY, N.Y. -

UPDATE - 7:30 P.M. - August 11, 2018

Crews are working through the weekend to clean up the train derailment site in deposit. 

Fox 40 visited the site Saturday and noted the area still smells strongly of fuel with visible fuel sheen in the river. 

A resident who lives between the river and railroad tracks said the crews are working hard. 

“There’s men that give their time. They come in and they’re tired and they’ve worked a long time," said the resident. "And I’m sure they’re going to clean it all up and we’ll have our sweet smell back."

According to an update sent by the Friends Of The Upper Delaware River, one train derailment clean up official said there's been an additional 200-400 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the river during the clean up process.

Fox 40 reached out to the NYSDEC to confirm that statement, but have yet to receive a response. 

FUDR is asking anyone who sees evidence of fuel on or near the river or any injury to wildlife to send them pictures and GPS coordinates to info@fudr.org.

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Cleanup continued in Delaware County after Thursday's train derailment that happened parallel to Route 17.

Officials said roughly 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel poured into the Delaware River and soil.

Several crews worked to carry out parts of the train, along with cleaning up the grounds.

Friends of the Upper Delaware River said they hope the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway, and the Department of Environmental Conservation, continue to take these efforts seriously.

"Based on the response we saw yesterday, which was pretty overwhelming in a positive way, I think, for multiple agencies," Jeff Skelding, with Friends of the Upper Delaware River, said. "It appears as if they're taking it seriously and if they're not, then they really should be. This is one of the finest cold water fish areas in the country and the people around here rely on it to be clean."

Officials with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) said they're working with division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) to remedy the area of the derailment.

NYSDEC added their Spills and Emergency Management staff and Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) have deployed pads and absorbent materials as necessary to remove diesel from the ground near the engines.

Skelding, and his team at Friends of the Upper Delaware River, added a concern on how the derailment was caused..

Investigators said the cause of the derailment was a washout from recent storms.

Skelding said he worries this issue won't be resolved and it could happen again later down the road. Another possibility that could harm the environment.

"We'd like to make sure that the required  inspections and maintenance on these vulnerable places on these rail lines, which of course are right next to our river here," Skelding said. "That all of that is being done correctly. We're not saying it isn't. Right now, we don't know and I think there are just a lot of open questions still."
 
New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway said they are working through the weekend with an environmental containment company, along with the EPA and NYSDEC to clean up the spill. No word on future patch ups for the area.

We'll provide more information on this story as it becomes available.