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BNSF Galena Derailment

All POL/SITREP's for this site BNSF Galena Derailment
Galena, IL - EPA Region V
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BNSF Galena Derailment - Removal Polrep
Initial Removal Polrep

EPA Emergency Response

Region V

Subject: POLREP #1
BNSF Galena Derailment
Galena, IL
Latitude: 42.3744730 Longitude: -90.4443060

From: Jaime Brown, OSC
Date: 3/6/2015
Reporting Period: 03/05/2015 - 03/07/2015

1. Introduction
  1.1 Background
Site Number: E15510    Contract Number:  
D.O. Number:      Action Memo Date:  
Response Authority: OPA    Response Type: Emergency
Response Lead: PRP    Incident Category: Removal Action
NPL Status: Non NPL    Operable Unit:
Mobilization Date: 3/5/2015    Start Date: 3/5/2015
Demob Date:      Completion Date:  
ERNS No.:    State Notification:
FPN#: E15510    Reimbursable Account #:

1.1.1 Incident Category

Emergency Removal

1.1.2 Site Description
On March 5, 2015 at 1:24 pm CST a BNSF unit train carrying crude oil derailed at Mile Post 171.6 in Jo Daviess County, Illinois near  the city of Galena, Illinois.  BNSF reported the incident to the National response center at 2:52pm CST. BNSF Reports there has been a release of crude oil to the ground. At the time the total train consisted of about 105 railroad tanker cars. 
The Site is a train derailment consisting of a BNSF owned, 21 railroad tanker cars (each containing about 30,000 gallons of crude oil.  17 of the tanker cars have derailed and 5 are on fire and have ruptured spilling oil onto the embankment and a seasonal wetland (currently not flooded) adjacent to the Galena and Mississippi Rivers. The fire has been going on since the derailment occurred on 3/5/2015. Location
Location is at Mile Post 171.6 outside (west of ) Galena Illinois in Jo Daviess County.
Latitude: 42.3744730
Longitude: -90.4443060 Description of Threat

1.1.3 Preliminary Removal Assessment/Removal Site Inspection Results
There are a total of 17 railroad tanker cars have derailed, 5 of the derailed rail road cars each contain approximately 30,000 gallons of crude oil are on fire. There are a  total of 21 railroad tanker cars currently at the Site for a estimated total of about 630,000 gallons of bakken crude with an unknown amount that has spilled onto the seasonal wetland and combusted at this time. The spilled crude oil has contaminated the seasonal wetland and has the potential of discharge in the Galena River which goes into the Mississppi River about .25 miles downstream. Besides contaminating the seasonal wetland, The oil presents a imminent and substantial danger of discharging into the Galena River or Mississippi River. In addition, the crude oil presents a threat to the environment which includes the adjacent Wildlife Refuge. Further the crude oil presents a threat to public health due to the downstream drinking water utilities and  uncontrolled air emissions from the fire which has thus far resulted in voluntary evacuations.

2. Current Activities
  2.1 Operations Section
    2.1.1 Narrative

2.1.2 Response Actions to Date
OSCs Brown, Mendoza, Faryan & Benning arrived at the Site on 3/5/2015, reporting to the Fire Chief serving as Incident Commander. The USCG Marine Safety Unit was on scene and oversaw installation of a containment boom at the confluence of the Galena & Mississippi Rivers.

Air monitoring to protect public health was being conducted by BNSF contractor CTEH. After approval from the IC, EPA OSCs directed START to support air monitoring being conducted by CTEH. The CTEH/BNSF air monitoring plan was approved by OSC Brown. START is overseeing air monitoring and collecting air sample in SUMMA cannisters to analyze for VOCs and particulates. To date, detections by CTEH & EPA have not detected VOCs or particulate matter above safe levels.

BNSF successfully uncoupled approximately 84 railroad tank cars containing crude oil, thus removing the risk of the crude oil being release from these tanks.  A wrecking contractor to BNSF re-railed derailed tank cars still intact and removed them from the Site. There are currently 10 derailed cars on the Site, some full or partially full of crude oil product.  Two of these cars still have small fires buring.

An earthen berm and underflow dam was constructed around the derailment site to contain run-off or crued oil before it would reach surface water.  EPA inspected these structures and found them to be effective. During the inspection, EPA did not see that any oil that had spilled into either the Galena or Mississippi River. EPA collected oil samples for fingerprinting purposes to be analyzed by USCG. CTEH collected samples in the same location. 

EPA is also providing assistance at the command post area on implementation of the Incident Command System process and providing updates to EPA management and community.  EPA conducted an aerial inspection of the spill and did not see oil discharging into the Galena or Mississippi River.  Currently the IMT is operating on a 12 hour operating period with operational briefings every 6 hours.

EPA OSCs met with the BNSF  Environmental Unit leader and requested the following: 1) additional containment boom deployment along the shoreline of the train derailment to contain any subsurface releases of crude oil; and 2) surface water monitoring of the Galena & Mississippi River (sampling & visual). 

At about 2:30pm on 3/6/2015, BNSF Hazmat reported that the fire on one of the tankers was getting worse to the extent that the firefighting water/oil mix may overwhelm the earthen berms and underflow dam. It was recommended that to prevent a release of oil to the Galena River and to ensure safety that they fire be allowed to burn uncontrolled for the evening. The state and federal agencies agreed.  A pressure relief valve on the tanker car subsequently closed and an uncontrolled fire never took place.

2.1.3 Enforcement Activities, Identity of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs)
BNSF Railway has taken responsibility for the release. OSC Brown issued a Notice of Federal Interest to BNSF Railway on 3/6/2015.  BNSF Railway is cooperating with EPA and other Agencies responding the incident.
2.1.4 Progress Metrics

Waste Stream Medium Quantity Manifest # Treatment Disposal

  2.2 Planning Section
    2.2.1 Anticipated Activities
- EPA will review environmental sampling & monitoring plans surface & wetlands to be submitted by BNSF.

- EPA START contractors will continue air monitoring tasks and conduct surface water and soil sampling.

- EPA will continue to participate in ICS and provide tactical advice and oversight of the removal towards protection of public health and the environment in coordination with Federal, State, and local agencies.

- EPA requested USCG Strike Team assistance with the implementation and oversight of a health & safety plan developed for the Site by a contractor to BNSF. Planned Response Activities
- BNSF will continue management of the fire and containment/monitoring of the oil release with EPA, federal, State, and local agency oversight.

- BNSF will acquire emergency permits and build a road into the seasonal wetland to enable heavy equipment to conduct wrecking operations. Next Steps
See Section 2.2.1

2.2.2 Issues
Fire is still ongoing at the derailment site so the incident is still in the emergency phase. Operations are being conducted 24 hours/day during this phase. There are over a dozen agencies and dozen contract contractors to BNSF on site.  There are two entities developing Incident Action Plans and they are not coordinating.  EPA will merge these parallel planning processes into one cohesive IMT operating under a Unified Command on 3/7/15.

  2.3 Logistics Section
    The EPA Mobile Command Post is on scene to support response staff.  Sampling supplies and equipment are being provided by EPA and START contractors.

  2.4 Finance Section
    No information available at this time.

  2.5 Other Command Staff
    2.5.1 Safety Officer
OSC Steve Faryan has provided a safety plan through START for EPA personnel onsite. The USCG Strike Team is due to arrive on site at 12:00 CST on 3/7/2015.

2.5.2 Liaison Officer
Herifberto Leon (on site). 

2.5.3 Information Officer
Heriberto Leon (on site).

3. Participating Entities
  3.1 Unified Command
Galena Fire Department (IC)
BNSF Railway
Federal Railroad Administration
EPA Region 5
Illinois EPA
U.S. DOT Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

3.2 Cooperating Agencies
Galena Police Department
Jo Daviess County Sheriff's Office
Other local fire, police & emergency personnel
U.S. Coast Guard
Federal Railroad Administration
U.S. DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Adminstration
Illinois DNR
Illinois EPA
Illinois EMA
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Red Cross

4. Personnel On Site
  EPA: 7
ERRS: 1 

TOTAL (estimated): 216

5. Definition of Terms
  Terms will be defined in the next POLREP.

6. Additional sources of information
  6.1 Internet location of additional information/report


6.2 Reporting Schedule
Another POLREP will be issued tomorrow afternoon.

7. Situational Reference Materials
  No information available at this time.

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