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Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

BNSF is investigating an oil sheen in the Whitefish River

BNSF Railway is investigating an oil sheen in the Whitefish River near one of its railyards.

According to a statement from BNSF, workers discovered the sheen at its Whitefish railyard Monday and immediately reported it to state and federal regulators.

The railyard is a designated state Superfund site due to past contamination from diesel fuel.

The railway says it has deployed a containment boom as a “precautionary measure” while it searches for the source of the oil. City officials closed down a recreational trail and boat launch near the railyard while BNSF conducts its investigation.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says BNSF will be required to submit a report on its investigation into the oil sheen. DEQ may require additional investigation before approving an official clean-up plan.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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