CARBON COUNTY, Utah (News4Utah) – The Department of Environmental Quality is testing drinking water supplies after a Union Pacific coal train derailed, spilling an estimated 45 tons of coal into the Price River on Saturday.
According to Sun Advocate, the train derailed near the Price River about three-quarters of a mile down river from the Scofield Reservoir dam.
Scott Hacking, a district engineer for the DEQ said eight cars derailed, with about one-and-a-half car loads of coal spilling into the river and surrounding wetlands.
The DEQ immediately tested the water both near the spill and at the Price River Water Improvement District and Price City drinking water plants on Monday and Tuesday.
Hacking told the Sun Advocate that based on his visual observations, he was not immediately alarmed by the spill and said coal is not particularly toxic.
The water testing is being done as a precaution to reassure the public that drinking water remains safe.
By Tuesday, most of the spill had been cleaned up.