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Environment

Train Derailment - Next Phase

galena-derail_barrier.jpg
US EPA
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Two weeks after crude oil train cars derailed and caught fire in northwest Illinois, the site has been stabilized, and now the long-term cleanup and restoration work can begin. 

Paul Ruesch has been the on-scene coordinator from the US EPA since the derailment near Galena on March 5th. He says the track has been restored and damaged cars removed. Now an area somewhat smaller than a football field is surrounded by a wall, 6 to 8 feet high.
The site is next to the Galena River, near where it empties into the Mississippi.

Ruesch says the contaminated soil will be removed soon, and then restoration can begin. He predicts a year from now you won't even be able to tell it happened.
Initially 400 people from a variety of local, state, and federal agencies responded. 

galena-derail_fire5.jpg
Credit US EPA
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Soon after the derailment.
RUESCH2.mp3
This week 100-150 people worked full-time at the site.

Early next week, oversight will officially transfer from the US to the Illinois EPA, and its field office in Rockford will be responsible for the remediation, recovery, and restoration. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.