A locomotive parked in Union Pacific’s railyard was identified Thursday as the cause of the diesel fuel spill into a Roseville creek this week.
Union Pacific Railroad officials said that about noon Tuesday they learned of the diesel fuel spill from railroad company property into Dry Creek next to UP’s J.R. Davis Yard. Almost all of Northern California’s UP rail traffic moves through the 915-acre yard northeast of Sacramento.
On Thursday, a news release from UP said that response officials confirmed that the diesel fuel came from from a locomotive parked in the Davis Yard.
The spill was contained and crews worked through the night cleaning up the discharge, UP said. On Thursday, crews continued cleaning up the spilled fuel and conducted water sampling.
County environmental health officials confirmed that the affected area is limited to Dry Creek and no drinking water sources have been affected, the railroad reported. A county environmental health spokesman referred inquiries about the spill to UP representatives.
Aubrey Henry, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said scientists with the department have assessed the situation and remained on the scene Thursday as the cleanup continued. So far, he said, they have reported no effects from the spill on fish or wildlife in the area. Henry said the investigation will continue.
He noted that the the spill site is 20 miles from the Sacramento River.
According to a spill report filed by Placer County Environmental Health with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services on Tuesday, an unknown amount of red-dye diesel was found in the creek. The fuel traveled a half-mile and created a 10-mile sheen on the surface of Dry Creek, the report states.
Equipment used during the cleanup includes containment booms to stop the spread of fuel and absorption booms and pads to soak up the spill. In addition, vacuum trucks and sampling equipment will be on site.
When the spill occurred, UP’s environmental team, the Roseville Fire Department and environmental contractors responded. Sacramento and Placer county health officials, the state Office of Emergency Services and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife also responded.