Glenn Switzer forwarded this series of emails to me. With rain in the forecast, this appears to be a serious issue.
From: Glenn Switzer
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 10:34 AM
To: Joel Walinski
Cc: Al Roder; Hilary Ziols
Good morning Joel,
Thank you for all your hard work – never an easy day.
Do you know who has jurisdiction or enforcement in the area of the train derailment? I understand the emergency nature of the incident at the forefront of the derailment. How ever we are past that and are into a clean-up phase now. On my home from work last night I saw the crews loading the damaged rail cars. This morning on my way into work I stopped and took a couple pictures. My concern deals with the sediment contamination of the Cannon River. There has been NO effort to prevent erosion on the site. Worse yet there is NO sediment control at the stream. In addition there is NO protection of the catch basins. With the currant rain there is considerable sediment pollution of the Cannon River.
There is NO erosion or sediment control on the whole site.
There are some very simple practices that can be implemented to protect our river. As an example the crew that did the work on the other side of the highway (I believe it was a separate project) did a great job with straw blankets and silt fencing. There appears to be little if any soil lose.
Thank you for your time and let me know who/or if I should contact.
Friday, April 11, 2008 1:31 PM
Glenn – We will be contacting Rice County Soil and Water Conservation, as they are contracted with the MPCA for erosion control/enforcement in this area. What is surprising about this issue is the MPCA was on site along with the EPA directing and overseeing the cleanup.
The work on the east side of Hwy. 3 is a City project, thanks for the kudos.
Director of Public Services
City of Northfield
Friday, April 11, 2008 1:08 PM
Glenn, Thanks so much for your vigilance. I am sure that’s helpful to Joel, and the others whose responsibility it is to manage storm water. I would appreciate knowing how this is resolved.
Thanks very much,
Outreach and Development Coordinator
Cannon River Watershed Partnership
Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 9:02 AM
Good morning all,
As of Wednesday morning there has been NO activity on the site. The stream and the Cannon River are in jeopardy of further soil sediment contamination with the forecasted precipitation. There is a MPCA regulation that requires ditches to be covered within 24 hours of disruption. If there is no enforcement on this site it sets a unwelcome precedent.
Thank you for time,
Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 9:14 AM
Glenn, we have contacted MPCA, and our office has been in touch with the train company and the company hired to do the cleanup. They will be installing erosion and sediment control practices, but I don’t know exactly when. We will do an inspection of the site within the next week to check on the status. If we get another rain event where a sediment discharge occurs, we will pursue enforcement. Thanks for your concern,
Rice SWCD Manager