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Published May 25, 2012, 09:17 PM

BNSF crews still cleaning up debris from train derailment

Fargo-Moorhead (WDAY TV) - A small, non-profit in the FM area is keeping BNSF honest. Last week, we first told you that environmental crews were combing the Red River for derailment debris.

A small, non-profit in the FM area is keeping BNSF honest. Last week, we first told you that environmental crews were combing the Red River for derailment debris. Now, crews are back at it, less than one week after their first search. River Keepers has found more pollutants.

Twice now, River Keepers has called BNSF, telling them they've got more clean-up to do.

Bob Backman – River Keepers Executive Director: "We are not a regulatory agency, all we did was inform the railroad they didn't pick up their garbage."

River Keepers says it found more than 20 more ties, miles north of the area where environmental crews finished their clean-up last week.

Bob Backman: "They are treated with creosol, to keep from rotting. Creosol is not a real friendly chemical for humans, and a navigation hazard."

The debris is from a BNSF train derailment back on March 17th caused by a broken wheel. More than 23 cars went off the tracks.

Amy McBeth – BNSF Spokesperson: "It's possible the debris got in the river as the derailment occurred. It's possible the debris got in the river as we were clearing cars."

BNSF has reacted quickly to the calls, getting crews out on the river right away.

Amy McBeth: "They are out there today and they'll continue that assessment and load out what they find in terms of railroad material."

River Keepers says with the long route of the Red River, more work needs to be done. BNSF says this time, environmental crews will continue to clean down, and upstream until they can't find any more debris.

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