BNSF Emerson Street derailment

(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.)  

Thursday, 2/23/12, 11:58 am

Ecology, Coast Guard, Seattle, King County and BNSF Railway responding to oil spill at Interbay rail yard

The state Department of Ecology (Ecology), U.S. Coast Guard, the Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and BNSF Railway (BNSF) are responding to an oil spill at the company’s railroad yard at Interbay in Seattle.

BNSF has hired an environmental cleanup contractor, which has begun to remove diesel fuel that is contained within drainage facilities at the rail yard. Ecology, the Coast Guard and SPU are overseeing the cleanup.

Some of the oil has entered the public sewer system, which flows to the King County West Point Treatment Plant. Plant operators are diverting oil from incoming flows for temporary storage and disposal. They also are taking precautions to ensure uninterrupted treatment of normal wastewater.

A locomotive that derailed shortly after 8 a.m. today sustained damage to a fuel tank. All fuel in the nearly full 3,000-gallon capacity tank emptied onto the ground. The incident is under investigation.

The contractor has placed oil cleanup and containment materials outside a stormwater outfall pipe in Smith Cove, south of the rail yard, as a precaution. No oil has reached surface waters.

More information about the spill will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

Photos by Ecology responders
Kim Medicus and Shannon Cline.


Date of Incident:
February 23, 2012, Approx. 8:00 am

Railroad yard at Interbay
Seattle, Washington

Product/Quantity: Diesel fuel

Under Investigation

Responsible Party: BNSF Railway


Joint Press Release - Feb. 23, 2012, 11:58 am


Washington Dept. of Ecology
Larry Altose

U.S. Coast Guard
Petty Officer Nathan Littlejohn

Seattle Fire Dept.
Kyle Moore
pager: 206-541-9568

King County Wastewater Treatment Division
Annie Kolb-Nelson

BNSF Railway
Gus Melonas