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2/17/2017



Rail News: BNSF Railway

Illinois AG, BNSF reach settlement over Galena crude-oil spill


The Illinois attorney general announced a settlement with BNSF over a 2015 crude-oil train derailment in Galena, Ill.
Photo – BNSF.com

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced a settlement has been reached with BNSF Railway Co. regarding a 2015 train derailment in Galena that spilled a large amount of crude oil, which threatened to contaminate groundwater and nearby surface water.

Under the terms of the settlement entered in Jo Daviess County Circuit Court, BNSF will pay $50,000 in civil penalties, Madigan said in a press release issued Tuesday.

In March 2015, a BNSF train consisting of 105 tankers — 103 of which carried 30,000 gallons of crude oil each — derailed in the northern Illinois city, burst into flames and prompted the evacuation of local residents. No injuries were reported.

Following the incident, which occurred near where the Galena and Mississippi rivers meet, Madigan obtained a court order to require BNSF to clean up the site and monitor it for contamination.

In cleaning up the site, BNSF spent more than $10.5 million, including reimbursements to state and local authorities for costs incurred. BNSF has continued to monitor the site, and to date, there is no evidence of groundwater contamination, Madigan said.

BNSF also spent $50,000 to repair unrelated storm damage to a nearby bicycle trail at the city's request.



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