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Cause of Whitefish River oil sheen determined

An oil sheen was first noticed on a section of the Whitefish River in Whitefish in April.
Whitefish River Oil
Posted at 2:53 PM, May 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-31 11:23:16-04

WHITEFISH — BNSF Railway reports it found the cause of the oil sheen that first appeared on the Whitefish River in early April.

The company determined that abnormally low groundwater allowed oil-impacted groundwater to pass under the existing interceptor trench.

Interceptor trenches are used to contain leakages.

BNSF is now working with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to design and install a new interceptor system to prevent issues like this in the future.

The project is expected to last for several weeks.

The pedestrian and bike path along the river will remain barricaded off from the end of the rail yard to Miles Avenue as the work continues.