Over 30 cars from a Montana Rail Link coal train derailed near Noxon on August 14, and according to company officials, cleanup is nearly complete.

Each fully loaded coal car weighs 143 tons, and since over 30 cars derailed, the total tonnage spilled could have been as much as 4,290 tons.

Spokesman Jim Lewis said on Thursday, that 99 percent of the coal and other material have already been cleaned up.

"Site cleanup near Noxon is progressing well with 99% of the coal being loaded on railcars and removed from the site in the past two weeks",Lewis said. "The remaining coal will be removed from the site with a vacuum truck. This process will be completed by early next week."

Lewis said all the remaining rail cars have also been removed, and remediation of the damaged landscape has also begun.

"Efforts are underway to restore vegetation and hydro-seed the bank of the river and the entire site with the goal of returning the area to its natural condition," he said.  "The re-vegetation process is expected to be completed by mid-October."


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