A derailed train, a collapsed bridge and rushing water have all combined to keep pressure on authorities, as the search for answers, and solutions intensify.

There is more follow-up on the aftermath of the train derailment and bridge collapse that forced authorities to close a portion of the Yellowstone River, which we shared in this story last June. Hopefully a meeting this week will help answer some questions that many concerned citizens feel are long overdue.

Brett French, Outdoor Editor of the Billings Gazette, tells us that conservation groups and fishing outfitters have voiced more concerns with the authorities overseeing the cleanup of the Yellowstone River following last year’s railroad bridge collapse and derailment. That disaster resulted in the spill of an estimated 420,000 pounds of asphalt and three train cars filled with molten sulfur. The cause of the derailment and bridge failure have not yet been released by federal investigators. But, on Wednesday, February 29, the group in charge of cleaning up the spill will hold a meeting in Columbus, Montana.

Brett reports that since the spill, which occurred during spring runoff, asphalt has been found as far as 130 miles downstream. Results from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks regarding testing of fish above and below the spill have not been released.


On the agenda for the meeting is an update on plans for additional cleanup work this spring and summer. Conservationists and fishing outfitters have recently amplified their concerns about the long-term impacts of this spill.

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