EPA testing continues at derailment sight near Galena - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

EPA testing continues at derailment sight near Galena

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JO DAVIESS COUNTY, Ill. (KWWL) -

When five cars from a BNSF train derailed and caught fire last week south of Galena, more than 50 agencies and 400 people responded. 

Now, nearly a week later, that number is dwindling. 

And while most agencies have left, there is still a lot of work to be done.  Most of it is air, soil and water testing by the EPA. 

Jaime Brown, the EPA's on-site coordinator, said there has been no evidence of oil in any of the nearby waterways. But rising temperatures and melting snow and ice have them concerned that rising water levels could mean oil in the water.

"We're going to build sheet piling around the site to keep the oil in and the water out," Brown said.

They're also working with lockmasters at the two nearest lock and dams to monitor the flow of the river. And if they find oil in the soil near the site, Brown said their main plan is to excavated that soil and bring it to an EPA-approved dump site.

Chuck Pedersen, Jo Daviess County Emergency Manager, said the response has been impressive, and the dedication even more so.

"I've been guaranteed by the EPA that they won't leave until our community is back together and running properly," he said.

Pedersen also said there is no timetable set for when the site will be cleared completely and everything essentially goes back to normal.

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