BNSF working to clean up spill in Havre

Posted at 9:58 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 23:58:42-04

HAVRE – BNSF is working to clean up a spill of wastewater and oil in Havre.

The incident happened on Tuesday evening, according to BNSF spokesman Ross Lane, who said that an isolation valve and check valve failed, resulting in overflow into the Waste Water Treatment Plant building.

The containment boom within the building temporarily held back the wastewater, but eventually overflowed into the dirt yard.  BNSF says that about 2,000 gallons of wastewater was discharged, of which approximately 200 gallons of oil was released.

BNSF initiated the Facility Response Plan and deployed two sets of containment boom on Bullhook Creek and placed sand berms around the plant to contain the spill.

Containment booms were also placed one mile, five miles, and eight miles downstream on the Milk River. BNSF also contacted the state of Montana and the National Response Center which provides notification to appropriate federal agencies.

Lane says that crews are continuing to remove recoverable oil from Bullhook Creek and liquid inside of the Waste Water Treatment Plant. Ross says that small amount of oil that reached the Milk River is not considered recoverable.

Impacted soil will also be removed, and crews will continue to inspect for additional impacts to Bullhook Creek and the confluence with the Milk River. 

BNSF will test the system for proper operation before restarting the treatment facility.  Lane says that BNSF will implement new processes to prevent an incident like this from happening again.

We will update you as we get more information.

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