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March 5, 2015

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN REACHES SETTLEMENT TO RECOVER COSTS OF ROCKFORD TRAIN DERAILMENT, ETHANOL LEAK

Rockford — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a settlement with Chicago, Central & Pacific Railroad Company (CCP) regarding a 2009 train derailment in Winnebago County that resulted in a fire and the release of thousands of gallons of ethanol into the surrounding environment, including several miles of the Rock River and its tributaries.

Under the terms, CCP will pay a total of $150,000 to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and Winnebago County to settle alleged violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act resulting from the release of ethanol into the area and nearby waterways. CCP also agreed to pay $270,000 to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), to fund restoration projects at two natural areas near the Rock River. CCP will also undertake an additional $150,000 stream restoration project in the affected area.

“This settlement ensures funding is in place to complete efforts to restore the natural areas damaged by the ethanol leak,” Attorney General Madigan said.

In June 2009 a CCP train carrying a mixture of ethanol and gasoline derailed in Winnebago County near Rockford. The derailment caused one fatality and up to 75,000 gallons of the mixture to be released, resulting in a significant fish kill in the Rock River. Since then, under the oversight of IEPA, CCP has worked on remediating the contaminated areas.

“This derailment caused significant impacts to the air, land and water, which required a thorough investigation, substantial research and extensive environmental remediation,” said Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett. “The coordinated efforts of state agencies have completed the investigation and cleanup of the release, and this final consent order brings closure to one of Illinois’ largest environmental emergencies.”

The state was represented by Assistant Attorneys General Jennifer Van Wie, Gerald Karr and Robert Petti. Assistant State’s Attorney David Kurlinkus represented Winnebago County.

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