Booms from derailment removed from river

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MOYIE SPRINGS — The cleanup process since the Jan. 1 derailment of the BNSF train has been a project involving multiple agencies. After the locomotive was removed from the river, the next sign of the progress came when the booms were removed from the Kootenai River.

“Starting late last week and over the weekend BNSF, along with Idaho DEQ, the Kootenai Tribe, and a few other agencies, did an inspection of the river, along the side and other points, just to make sure that things were looking good,” said Courtney Wallace, spokeswoman for BNSF Railway. “Following that successful inspection, we started removing the boom starting late last week and over the weekend.”

They are continuing the process by taking water samples by the hatchery and the water intake for the city.

“Those are in for analysis and we should be getting results back by the end of the week,” said Wallace.

At the same time, the dismantling of the locomotive removed from the river continues.

“The majority of it has been dismantled and removed from the site.” said Wallace. “It is being removed by truck. We will continue that process and wrap that up this week.”

Wallace said that all environmental protocols are being followed during the dismantling process.

“We have mats down. We have monitors on site, our engineering team — all the appropriate measures are being taken just to make sure that everything is being done safely, efficiently, and more appropriately, environmentally responsible,” said Wallace.

According to Wallace, BNSF is incredibly grateful for the support and partnership with all the agencies, first responders, and the community at large. She said that having a plan in place helped the rescue and recovery go smoothly.

“There are great plans in place,” said Wallace. “It went like clockwork and we are very grateful for that.”

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