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Removal of Sodium Compound Spilled in Train Derailment Begins

July 13, 1989|From a Times Staff Writer

SAN BERNARDINO — Trucks have begun hauling sodium bicarbonate from a San Bernardino neighborhood where 15,000 cubic yards of the sand-like material spilled from a runaway train.

Southern Pacific spokesman Jim Loveland said the railroad obtained a permit from the State Lands Commission to dump the sodium bicarbonate in the dry bed of Owens Lake in Inyo County.

It will take 20 days and cost $500,000 to relocate the material, which originally was mined from Owens Lake.

Health Problems

Some San Bernardino residents, complaining of health problems, have pressed the railroad to move the sodium bicarbonate, which spilled from a freight train that derailed and killed four people May 12.

But Inyo County environmentalists have fought the effort, saying the railroad should first have been required to complete an environmental impact report.

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