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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
Final Removal Polrep

EPA Emergency Response

Region V

Subject: POLREP #15
BNSF Galena Derailment
Galena, IL
Latitude: 42.3744730 Longitude: -90.4443060

From: Jaime Brown, OSC
Date: 9/14/2015
Reporting Period: 7/25/2015 - 9/7/2015

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: 6/22/2015    Completion Date: 8/20/2015
ERNS No.:    State Notification: Illinois EPA
FPN#: E15510    Reimbursable Account #: Z5PL

1.1.1 Incident Category
Emergency Response

1.1.2 Site Description
See POLREP #5 Location
See POLREP #5 Description of Threat

1.1.3 Preliminary Removal Assessment/Removal Site Inspection Results

2. Current Activities
  2.1 Operations Section
    2.1.1 Narrative
Soil flushing operations continued to remove and recover minimal amounts crude oil from the track ballast, with contaminated water treated in the on-site WTP. BNSF submitted a comprehensive report on remedial actions to date, which included a 'mass balance' of crude oil product discharged during the incident. This report and next steps for the remediation were discussed at a meeting with U.S. EPA, Illinois EPA and BNSF on August 20.

2.1.2 Response Actions to Date
During this reporting period, the following field activities took place:

- Crude oil continued to be flushed from track ballast and recovered in a collection trench;
- Contact water continued to be collected & treated; and
- WTP effluent continued to be sampled for laboratory analysis to ensure compliance with the state-issued NPDES permit.

A comprehensive report was provided by BNSF on August 7 which detailed all response actions to date and corresponding data. This report is posted in the 'documents' section of the website.  A 'mass balance' calculation prepared by a contractor to BNSF concluded that of the approximately 110,543 gallons not recovered directly from inside railcars involved in the derailment, 94,929 gallons were consumed by fire in the cars, atmosphere & ground. The report concluded that approximately 15,614 gallons were released to the ground surface and did not burn. The report stated that a total of 180,021 gallons were recovered directly from tank cars.

A meeting was held on August 20 with U.S. EPA, Illinois EPA and BNSF to discuss progress to date and next steps for the Site. It is anticipated that soil flushing operations will discontinue this summer and additional soil/groundwater sampling & monitoring will continue to monitor for impacts to the environment. It was agreed that this work will take place under oversight of Illinois EPA, which is entering into a Consent Order with BNSF.

There was never any visual or monitoring data evidence to indicate that any spilled product has impacted either the Galena or Mississippi Rivers during this incident and subsequent response. There were also no injuries at the Site or wildlife impacts reported during work at the Site.

2.1.3 Enforcement Activities, Identity of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs)

2.1.4 Progress Metrics (totals reported by BNSF as of September 7)
Waste Stream Medium Quantity Manifest # Treatment Disposal
Crude oil
(from tankers)
 liquid 221,421 gal  various  refining Continental Refining Co.
Somerset, KY
Crude oil/water mixture  liquid 26,354 gal*  various  refining Continental Refining Co.
Somerset, KY
Crude oil
(from trench)
 liquid 3,328 gal** (est)  various  refining Continental Refining Co.
Somerset, KY
Contact water  liquid 2,163,750 gal**  none  on-site WTP discharge to Harris Slough per NPDES permit
Contaminated soil  solid 4,748.37 tons  various  disposal Republic Waste
Upper Rock Island Co LF
East Moline, IL
Tanker cars  solid 12  NA  salvage scrap
* Final figure for crude oil/water mixture transferred to trucks for transport to refinery, which varies from the preliminary estimate of crude oil/water mixture recovered from the ground by vac truck reported in previous POLREPs (35,132 gal).
** Contact water and residual crude oil continue to be collected in a trench adjacent to the track ballast. It is anticipated that contact water collection and treatment operations will discontinue in October 2015.

Regional Metrics

This is an Integrated River Assessment.  The numbers should overlap.

Miles of river systems cleaned and/or restored

0.5 mi

Cubic yards of contaminated sediments removed and/or capped

5000 cy (est)

Gallons of oil/water recovered

15,441 gal (est)

Acres of soil/sediment cleaned up in floodplains and riverbanks


Stand Alone Assessment

Number of contaminated residential yards cleaned up


Number of workers on site

415 (initial reponse operations)

Contaminant(s) of Concern

 Crude Oil

Oil response Tracking

Estimated volume 

Initial amount released

110,543 gal (est)

Final amount collected

 15,441 gal (est)


FPN Ceiling Amount


FPN Number


Body of Water affected

Mississippi River, Galena River

Administrative and Logistical Factors (Check X where applicable)

Precedent-Setting HQ Consultations (e.g., fracking, asbestos)

Community challenges or high involvement


More than one PRP

Endangered Species Act  / Essential Fish Habitat issues



Historic preservation issues

Residential impacts


NPL site


DOJ involved

Remote location

Drinking water impacted

Criminal Investigation Division involved

Extreme weather or abnormal field season

Environmental justice

Tribal consultation or coordination or other issues

X Congressional involvement

High media interest

Statutory Exemption for $2 Million

Statutory Exemption for 1 Year

Active fire present

Hazmat Entry Conducted – Lev A, B or C

X Incident or Unified Command established

Actual air release (not threatened)


Green Metrics
Metric Amount Units
Diesel Fuel Used  400 gallons
Unleaded Fuel Used  100 gallons
Alternative/E-85 Fuel Used  250 gallons
Electricity from electric company  NA kWh
Electric Company Name and Account #  NA  
Electricity from sources other than the electric company  50 kWh
Solid waste reused  NA enter
Solid waste recycled  25 pounds
Water Used  500 gallons

  2.2 Planning Section
    2.2.1 Anticipated Activities
- Illinois EPA will oversee remaining remediation and monitoring activities pursuant a state Consent Order;
- Illinois EPA will continue to oversee operation of the on-site WTP in accordance with a NPDES permit (issued July 1) until anticipated de-commissioning in October 2015; and
- USACE will oversee implementation of a wetlands restoration plan (approved June 23) on the impacted property. Planned Response Activities
NA Next Steps
A final OSC Report will be produced and posted to the website for this incident.  All Site contacts will be notified when the report is posted.

2.2.2 Issues

  2.3 Logistics Section

  2.4 Finance Section
    No information available at this time.

  2.5 Other Command Staff
    2.5.1 Safety Officer

2.5.2 Liaison Officer

2.5.3 Information Officer
A public meeting, coordinated by Jo Daviess County, is scheduled for September 21 at which local, state and Federal emergency responders will present the status of cleanup activities and answer questions from the public. U.S. EPA will send a representative to participate in this meeting.

3. Participating Entities
  3.1 Unified Command

3.2 Cooperating Agencies

4. Personnel On Site

TOTAL (estimated): 4

5. Definition of Terms
  BNSF        Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway
FPN           Federal Project Number 
gal             gallons
HASP        Health & Safety Plan 
ICP            Incident Command Post
NPDES     National Pollution Discharge Elimination System
NPL           National Priorities List
OPA          Oil Pollution Act
OSC          On Scene Coordinator
POLREP    Pollution Report 
PRP           Potentially Responsible Party
START       Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team 
TDD           Technical Direction Document
USACE      United States Army Corps of Engineers
WTP          Water Treatment Plant

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


6.2 Reporting Schedule
This is the final POLREP. No further POLREPs will be issued.  A final OSC Report for the incident will be posted to the 'documents' section of the website within 30 days.

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