In this photo provided by the Jackman-Moose River Fire & Rescue Department, rubble burns after several cars on a freight train derailed in rural Maine, Saturday, April 15, 2023. Credit: William Jarvis / Jackman-Moose River Fire & Rescue Department via AP

The three locomotives involved in the recent freight train derailment near Rockwood are slated to be dismantled for removal from the site this week, Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday.

The move comes after the DEP on Friday warned Canadian Pacific Kansas City, the company that owns the train that derailed April 15, to step up efforts to clean the site. The DEP also cited CPKC for failing to empty saddle tanks on the locomotive before moving the engines last Thursday, which resulted in an estimated 500 gallons of fuel being leaked.

The engines continue to leak some diesel and other fluids, which are saturating the ground around the wreckage and a nearby river and lake in the Moosehead Lake region. The Bangor Daily News first reported the leak two days after the derailment. A sheen was visible on the water, according to an environmental professional at the scene.

The DEP confirmed the next day that  engine oil, hydraulic fluid and fuel have saturated the soil onsite and are moving into the nearby Moose River, which feeds into Brassua Lake, known for its brook trout and salmon fishing. Fuel continues to leak, and it is not clear how big the leak could potentially be. The extent of environmental damage also is not known yet.

DEP staff are currently working with CPKC to confirm capacity numbers for the diesel, motor oil and hydraulic fluid, David Madore, a department spokesperson, told the Bangor Daily News.

“Determining how much fuel was used before the derailment or how much burned off during the fire is challenging for DEP,” Madore said.

CPKC is responsible for the cleanup, which the DEP said has been interrupted by the train service resuming on the tracks, which were repaired the day after a washout derailed the train.

“There have been some [cleanup] delays because of trains passing through the cleanup area,” Madore said. “Adjustments are made as necessary until the train has passed and it is safe for everyone to resume work.”

Asked if the DEP is pleased with the progress made since the warning last Friday, Madore said DEP and CPKC “are working collaboratively to ensure that the work is completed to the department’s satisfaction.”

Lori Valigra, senior reporter for economy and business, holds an M.S. in journalism from Boston University. She was a Knight journalism fellow at M.I.T. and has extensive international reporting experience...