CANADA --Acid Spill From Train Derailment Taking Toll on Environment (Update)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
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Good weather aids cleanup of acid spill, train accident
TEMAGAMI, Ont. (CP) - Favourable weather conditions have helped railway officials trying to clean up a train derailment that dumped toxic sulphuric acid into a nearby creek.
Temperatures ranging from -5 C to -15 C have slowed water flows and allowed construction crews to build a road to the derailment site.
However, temperatures are expected to climb to double figures by the middle of next week and could spread acid into other waters.
"The weather has been on our side but we'll have to take some immediate steps because the run-off will be an issue," worried John Thib, the railway's chief transportation officer.
About 45,000 litres of acid leaked the creek from a dozen Ontario Northland rail cars after they left the tracks Tuesday and toppled down an embankment into a marshy area.
No one was hurt in the accident, which tore up about 400 metres of track.
But the spill has already taken a toll on the environment.
Several dead fish were found caught in the twigs and mud of a beaver dam and there was brown foam on top of the open water.
Dead minnows were also found 1= kilometres west of the derailment where Rabbit Creek enters Hornet Lake.
The creek also carries water from Hornet Lake to Rabbit Lake - a popular fishing site for trout and walleye.
Limestone and soda ash were used to neutralize the contamination and more will be dropped on the creek Friday, said Brad Bowman of NAR Environmental Consultants in Sudbury, Ont.
Railway officials, who initially said it would be at least a week before the line re-opened, said Friday it would take at least twice as long.
The cause of the accident was still not known Friday.
-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), March 18, 2000