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  • #16
    BNSF will begin 4 projects to clean Whitefish River

    BNSF will begin 4 projects to clean Whitefish River

    Posted: Sep 2, 2009 08:51 PM

    The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway plans to finish removing contaminated sediment from the upper reach of the Whitefish River will happen by mid-November.

    BNSF signed an administrative order with the Environmental Protection Agency to do four projects to clean up the Whitefish River.

    Work on the portion of the Whitefish River above Second Street Bridge will start September 25th. And there will also be work on the lower reach of the river, and an interceptor trench investigation.

    BNSF will also evaluate any other sources of contamination at the fueling facility that might impact the river.

    "We've been working collaboratively with the EPA for a period of time now, and we're anxious to begin the removal activities and start getting to work and removing any sort of impacted materials, and finishing up the project in a manner that doesn't impact the community but also restores the river," said Burlington Northern Santa Fe General Director, Allen Stegman.

    Any needed sediment removal on the lower reach of the Whitefish River is set to be finished in September 2010.

    FELA Fella Comment: The long term health effects of this for the Whitefish residents are yet to be determined. Sometimes these injuries do not manifest themselves until 5 and 10 years down the road. In some of the posts in this thread the BNSF has denied that there is any contamination but yet now they working closely with the EPA.....imagine that!

    Steve Gordon
    http://www.Gordon-Elias.com
    Last edited by FELA FELLA; 09-04-2009, 02:33 AM.
    Steve Gordon
    Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
    FELA Lawyer
    FELA Lawyer Blog
    Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
    Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
    800-773-6770

    Comment


    • #17
      EPA Orders BNSF to Cleanup Whitefish River

      EPA orders cleanup of Whitefish River
      Posted: Sep 17, 2009 01:18 PM
      Updated: Sep 17, 2009 01:18 PM

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered that contaminated sediments from some sections of the Whitefish River in northwestern Montana be removed, beginning in late September.EPA officials say that sediments in some areas of the river are contaminated with petroleum products, causing a visible sheen on the river when disturbed.
      Back in 2007, a citizen contacted EPA to report an oily sheen on the river in several sports. The EPA then looked into the situation and discovered the presence of petroleum consisting of bunker fuel oil and weathered diesel fuel.
      An EPA press release says that the "contamination appears to originate from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) fueling facility, which is located upstream from the town, adjacent to the river"
      BNSF will investigate, conduct and pay to clean up contamination that is attributable to them, with EPA oversight according to federal officials. The railroad company will begin the cleanup process on September 25th above the Second Street Bridge, north to the BNSF facility.
      According to the EPA, BNSF will begin to remove impacted sediments downstream of Second Street Bridge, for approximately two miles next year.
      The U.S. EPA is planning to host a public meeting on Tuesday, September 29th, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Whitefish Community Center on Center Street.

      Steve Gordon Comment:
      If you read all these posts and the dates, it's like a slow leaky faucet. Maybe someday the whole story will be told.
      http://www.gordon-elias.com/CM/FELA/...A-Overview.asp


      Last edited by batman; 09-18-2009, 04:33 PM. Reason: added hyperlink
      Steve Gordon
      Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
      FELA Lawyer
      FELA Lawyer Blog
      Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
      Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
      800-773-6770

      Comment


      • #18
        Home / News / Montana & Regional Cleanup of oil, diesel from Whitefish River begins t

        KALISPELL - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says efforts to remove contaminated sediment from the Whitefish River will begin this week.
        The sediment in parts of the river is contaminated with petroleum products, including bunker fuel oil and weathered diesel fuel, causing a visible oily sheen on the water when it is disturbed.
        EPA officials have said the contamination appears to originate from the BNSF Railway fueling facility upstream from Whitefish, and the contaminated sediment patches are along about two miles of the river.
        Whitefish residents don't use the river as a source of drinking water, but it is used for recreational activities.
        Steve Gordon
        Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
        FELA Lawyer
        FELA Lawyer Blog
        Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
        Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
        800-773-6770

        Comment


        • #19
          Mandantory Clean-up Begins

          Mandated cleanup begins on Whitefish River



          Published: Sunday, September 27, 2009 12:41 AM CDT


          Railroad will remove about one foot of sediment

          BNSF Railway Co. will remove roughly 36,000 cubic feet of petroleum-contaminated sediment from the Whitefish River during the first phase of federally mandated cleanup this fall.

          The railroad expects to remove sediment about one foot deep from a 36,000-square-foot area on the north side of the upper stretch of the river, above the Second Street Bridge north to the BNSF fueling facility, according to a remedial action work plan completed by Kennedy/Jenks Consultants.

          Although there's a long history of petroleum pollution at the rail yard and upper stretch of river longtime residents remember oil fires on the river this particular round of cleanup was spurred by a citizen complaint two years ago of an oily sheen on the river in multiple locations.

          The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigated and found bunker fuel oil and weathered diesel fuel.

          Staging for the cleanup began Friday and by mid-October that portion of river and the adjacent bike path will be closed to the public through December, EPA spokeswoman Jennifer Chergo said.

          "It will impact recreation," she said. "We chose this time of year because of the low [river] flow."

          The contaminated soil will be moved to an upland storage area where it will be dried and mixed with quicklime before being loaded into railcars for transport to an offsite disposal facility, according to the work plan for the project.

          The river bank and major features, such as logs in the river bottom that are disturbed during construction, will be restored to approximate preconstruction conditions.

          "The planned removal work will result in minimal deepening, but will not substantially change the river channel geometry," the work plan stated, noting that the removal work won't substantially change the flow characteristic of the river water.

          The EPA is operating under the authority of the 1990 Oil Pollution Act, legislation that strengthened the federal agency's ability to respond to oil spills.

          The agency is requiring the railroad to clean about two miles of the Whitefish River, to JP Road, but cleanup could extend even farther, Chergo said.

          "As we head that way, we'll sample as we go," she said. "If we see a consistent pattern [of contamination] to keep going, then we will."

          Cost of the cleanup has not yet been calculated.

          "It's not totally worked out who's paying for what," Chergo said, although a recent EPA press release said the railroad will pay to clean up contamination attributable to BNSF.

          The EPA will have two on-scene coordinators, David Romero and Duc Nguyen, overseeing the Whitefish River cleanup.

          Matthew Kent, an environmental science specialist with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, also will make visits to the project site.

          Some Whitefish residents have criticized the state for dragging its feet on cleanup through the years.

          But Denise Martin, state Department of Environmental Quality Site Response section manager, said not all contamination poses an unacceptable public health risk. Through site-specific risk evaluations, the state determines if the pollution crosses the benchmark of what's acceptable.

          The river is not a source for drinking water, but is used heavily for recreation. During the recent Duck Derby fundraiser of the Whitefish Community Foundation, people who waded into the river to collect plastic ducks downstream from the Baker Avenue bridge emerged with their legs coated in black, petroleum-laced muck.

          Last year Whitefish Lake Institute Director Mike Koopal brought bottles of gasoline-laced effluent from the river to a City Council meeting. Those were taken from a fuel seep near the Town Pump. Benzene levels in water samples were 39 times the level allowed for drinking water.

          Koopal told the council he was frustrated with the state's timeline to mitigate the pollution.

          "Part of the blame is the DEQ," Martin admitted. "We've had trouble keeping project officers' and that has hampered both continuity and the momentum of state oversight, he said.

          THE FIRST major cleanup of the area began in 1973 when the railroad began recovering free petroleum product from shallow groundwater via an interception trench just above the Whitefish River.

          In 1986 the EPA inspected the facility after citizen complaints of an oil sheen on the river, but the agency recommended no further federal action, and the state began overseeing the investigation and cleanup actions at the Whitefish yard. By late 1998 the state issued an administrative order requiring BNSF to complete a remedial investigation work plan for the site. The railroad submitted its draft plan in 2000 and its final plan in 2006.

          BNSF investigated further in 2004 and 2005 to address data gaps. The state and railroad have gone back and forth on the investigation, and two years ago BNSF submitted a supplement to its plan that included additional assessment information.

          As of September 2008, 15,477 gallons of "free product" had been recovered, the state's timeline noted.

          Cleanup to be explained at meeting

          A public meeting about the Whitefish River cleanup project will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Whitefish Golden Agers Community Center, 121 Second St. in Whitefish.

          Federal and state environmental officials will be on hand to answer questions.
          Steve Gordon
          Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
          FELA Lawyer
          FELA Lawyer Blog
          Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
          Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
          800-773-6770

          Comment


          • #20
            Whitefish River cleanup running on schedule

            The Whitefish River cleanup work is on schedule, but U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials say it will take several years to finish the project.

            The EPA ordered the railroad to clean about two miles of the Whitefish River. The diesel and bunker oil fuel contamination appears to come from the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe fueling facility.

            This fall the pilot project will clean about 500 feet of the river by excavating about a foot of sediment.

            The excavated soil is being taken to the BNSF site, dried out with quick lime, and shipped to a North Dakota landfill.

            EPA officials say work is at the most contaminated area right now, and they will do more testing to figure out the methods for further downstream.

            "Probably the most important thing here is we are moving forward with the cleanup here, and it's going to take us some time, this is not something that's going to be done overnight, probably over a period of a couple years at least, and so we're asking for people to be patient and be cooperative with us," explains EPA On-Scene Coordinator, Dave Romero.

            The work should finish by early December and crews will return for the other half of the river probably in March.

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            Steve Gordon
            Montana FELA Lawyer
            Steve Gordon
            Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
            FELA Lawyer
            FELA Lawyer Blog
            Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
            Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
            800-773-6770

            Comment

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