Media & Press Inquiries

Unified Command Press Release as of 1200 – July 12

The collection of asphalt material continues to be top priority for cleanup crews. Cleanup start times have been shifted to earlier in the morning to maximize the collection of materials and to prevent heat and hydration related safety concerns for crews on the water. The crews have reported they are able to collect asphalt material more easily in the cooler temperatures and then shift their focus to debris collection, including railroad ties, later in the day as temperatures increase. As of Tuesday evening, over 80,000 pounds of material has been collected thus far.

River and shoreline assessment crews have surveyed 35 miles downstream, flagging locations in need of asphalt material cleanup. While current cleanup efforts are focused closer to the derailment site, where crews have observed higher concentrations of materials, assessment will continue further downstream until an endpoint is established. Cleanup crews will continue to work downstream following the locations outlined by assessment teams and reports received from members of the public over the coming weeks. Unified Command thanks the public for continuing to report sightings of asphalt material. All reports from the public are logged and added to assessment and cleanup efforts as crews move downstream.

Environmental crews continue to look for impacted wildlife daily. On July 10, three killdeer birds were found dead, bringing the total confirmed impacted wildlife to eight. An additional killdeer chick was found alive and taken to the Montana Raptor Conservation Center in Bozeman for treatment.

The bridge span that was placed in the water off the west bank of the river, to aid in the initial cleanup efforts to remove the impacted cars from the river, has been removed to make way for continued construction efforts. Crews are working day and night as bridge construction continues to progress, with the goal remaining to complete construction in weeks timeframe versus months.


EPA’s river operations dashboard on the incident website has up-to-date information on the amount of collected asphalt material and assessment locations and is available online:

Members of the public are encouraged to continue reporting sightings of any asphalt material they observe to the email below and continue to avoid touching the material with bare skin. This email can also be used for any impacted landowners to start the process of filing a claim. To report observed asphalt material, submit information to:

Anyone with information about oiled wildlife are encouraged to call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) Response Hotline at 888-ASK-OWCN (888-275-6926).

For more information, please visit the response websites at:

Asphalt material cleanup

Asphalt material cleanup

Bridge construction

Bridge construction

This response is operating under a Unified Command which enables different jurisdictions and organizations to jointly manage and direct incident activities. Unified Command for this incident is comprised of representatives from Stillwater County Disaster and Emergency Services, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Montana Rail Link.

FULL RELEASE: Stillwater MT Derailment Press Release 20230712 (PDF)