Officers from the Department of Tourism, Arts and the Environment are on their way to a remote region of the State’s west to investigate a spill of copper concentrate on the Emu Bay Railway.
The Director of Environmental Management, Warren Jones, said it is too early to gauge the significance of the spill or the hazard it poses.
He said he would be directing TasRail to take all feasible action to contain the concentrate and prevent it entering waterways where it could have an impact on fish and invertebrates.
"Details are sketchy but it appears a number of wagons were derailed," he said.
"There is no road access to the incident site and the investigating team will be taken into the area by railcar.
"There is no public health risk. However, the environmental hazard could be substantial if large quantities of the concentrate get into the river system.
"The initial task is to get a clear picture of the scale of the incident and contain the spill."
It is understood TasRail is also sending an environment officer to the derailment scene.