Media & Press Inquiries

Unified Command Press Release as of 1200 – August 2

Cleanup teams have returned to areas immediately downstream from the site due to dropping water levels. They have been prioritizing collecting large pieces of actionable asphalt. Assessment teams have assessed 102.5 miles downriver; operations teams have reached river mile 98. As of Tuesday night, teams have collected approximately 215,000 pounds of asphalt material.

All material collected by crews thus far has been collected by hand. Though a time consuming, laborious process, crews will continue prioritizing and maximizing cleanup efforts while limiting impacts to the environment.

Safety remains a top priority; heat is dropping slightly and crews are continuing to take precautions to avoid injuries. Crews remain on the river every day and aided in the rescue of two recreational boats over the weekend.

On Saturday July 29, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reopened the section of the Yellowstone River that had been closed 1 mile upstream to 2.5 miles downstream of the derailment. All other fishing access sites that were closed in response to the incident have been reopened.

Cleanup and assessment crews continue to look for impacted wildlife daily. Eight snakes and eleven birds died after encountering the asphalt material; one snake encountered the material and was released back into the environment for 20 total confirmed animals impacted by the material.

Unified Command is moving to a two-week operational period based on continued work; press releases will now move to every other week.


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 avoiding touching the asphalt material with bare skin and reporting it to the email below. 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:

Previously submerged asphalt material

Previously submerged asphalt material

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 20230802 (PDF)