Excavation Hazard at Tiskilwa Derailment Site - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Excavation Hazard at Tiskilwa Derailment Site

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New concern over the site of a train derailment that is still being monitored over a year later. 

On the morning of October 7, 2011 a train carrying ethanol derailed on the outskirts of Tiskilwa. A large explosion and fire resulted, leaking thousands of gallons of ethanol into the ground. 

Now, as the ethanol that leaked underground biodegrades, new concerns over methane explosions and water contamination are surfacing.

The Illinois EPA wants anyone living or working near the derailment site to use caution.

"In a letter, they are advising that there could be methane in the soil now and to be careful, because it could be a risk." But Bureau County Health Protection Director, Kurt Kuchle, said the risk isn't high.

"The immediate area is all railroad or farmland." Kuchle said there's a slim chance that anyone would try and excavate the land.

The Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health is also monitoring private wells and doing some soil sampling -- checking ethanol levels and ensuring that ethanol isn't leaking into nearby water sources.

In 2011, after the accident, the railroad was court-ordered to investigate the environmental effects.

It's working with the Illinois EPA and the Bureau County Health Department to report results on a regular basis.