California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Graphic California map showing the locations of Cantara spill The Sacramento River from above.

Cantara Loop / Dunsmuir Chemical Spill

  • LOCATION: Near Dunsmuir and along Sacramento River, Siskiyou and Shasta Counties
  • DATE: July 14, 1991
  • INCIDENT SUMMARY: A train accident caused a chemical tank car to fall into the Sacramento River, spilling 19,000 gallons of the herbicide metam sodium. The chemical impacts extended over 20 miles from the spill site to Lake Shasta.
  • RESPONSIBLE PARTY: Southern Pacific Railroad
  • NATURAL RESOURCE TRUSTEES: California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board; United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • RESOURCES IMPACTED: Instream habitat and wildlife (fish, amphibians, macroinvertebrates); riparian habitat; human recreational use.
  • SETTLEMENT DETAILS: The trustees settled the NRDA portion of the case for $14 million.
  • STATUS OF RESTORATION: Restoration, implemented through a grant program, is complete. See Final Report (below).

Available Documents

Contact Information

Michael Anderson
Phone: 916-324-9784

Page Last Updated: July 2, 2012