Cal Sag Spill: Was it Handled Well?
Do you still have concerns about the jet fuel leak in Palos Park last week? What questions would you like officials to address?
A little more than a week ago, a section of the Badger Pipeline System sprung a leak, spilling jet fuel into land along Calumet Sag Road and into the nearby channel.
No one was hurt when the pipeline failed Police said a few hours after the Monday spill that fumes from the fuel dissipated and remediation work had already begun. The Cal-Sag Channel reopened Tuesday after the U.S. Coast Guard found the waterway safe for use.
Company officials who operate the pipeline said the controllers stopped the leak in less than a minute but the aftermath took until Friday to fix and reopen to the public. Traffic was allowed back on the roadway (Route 83) late Friday afternoon after the section had been replaced. Several days of work were needed to fashion a piece of pipe as a replacement.
Here are a few comments and queries:
Mike Conroy: "You really wonder what the long term [sic] consequences are going to be as far as this spill is concerned."
RZ: "Are the hiking trails or forest preserve areas used by the public affected by the fuel spill? Is it safe for bikers and hikers to use the forest preserves in this area?"
A Palos Park official took a few minutes last week to address some of the questions raised by readers. Here are some of the responses from Daniel Polk, Village of Palos Park Commissioner of Public Health and Safety:
Just wanted all who are curious to know that the Village of Palos Park has been asking MANY questions about the short, medium and long term [sic] effects of this spilled fuel. IAs the Commissioner of Public Health and Safety for the Village, I will use ALL the resources at my disposal to answer these questions. In addition, I will be organising an information session that will encourage public participation. I would assure the residents that the village is NOT relying solely on the information being released by the pipeline company. Both the state and local environmental protection agencies have been involved in the process from the initial notification which occurred early Moday morning. I am happy to answer any questions anyone may have at this point or in the future.
One of the good things about this crisis has been the participation of the Environmental Protection Agency. National, state and local representation have been invaluable to the Village. Currently, there is ongoing monitoring of air, soil and water samples to determine the extent of the damage and to insure that no workers or residents are needlessly exposed to the hazardous fuel. Once the extent of the damage and subsequent remediation are known, we can better project what lies in our collective future. One thing we will NOT do is rely solely on the Pipeline company for information. While they have been very responsive to this point they clearly have a vested interest in the outcome which may not reflect those of our residents. More to follow as information becomes available. Again- I would encourage anyone with questions to talk to us at the Village or leave a message for me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Palos Patch's coverage:
- UPDATE: Cal Sag Road Opens to Traffic
- Cause of Fuel Leak Remains Under Investigation
- Cal Sag Road Closure Could Last Through Friday
- Aviation Fuel Leak Closes Cal Sag Road