Fish kill reported along Rock River.
Train derailment of ethanol is the expected cause.
7:42 AM CDT, June 22, 2009
STERLING, Ill. - Illinois investigators are trying to figure out what caused a fish kill on the Rock River in northwestern Illinois -- between Grand Detour and Sterling.
Sgt. Carl Lewis of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says they're trying to determine if the run off from a train derailment in the Rockford area got into the Kishaukee River, which flows into the Rock River. That train was carrying ethanol, and Friday's derailment caused an explosion that killed one person.
The Department of Natural Resources is working with the state Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
The state is advising the public not to eat fish from the Rock River in Ogle, Lee and Whiteside counties until the cause of the fish kill is determined.
WQAD-TV story with video report.
WHITESIDE COUNTY, Illinois - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is advising the public of a fish kill on the Rock River between Grand Detour, north of Dixon in Ogle County, and the lower dam in Sterling in Whiteside County.
"There's speculation that the run off from the derailment in Rockford area of the ethanol got into the Kishaukee River which flows into the Rock River," Sgt. Carl Lewis of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources explained. "We won't know until we get the water samples back and determine what is in the water."
The IDNR is working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency in this investigation. The further south on the Rock River the agencies tested, they didn't find as many dead fish. By the time it gets to the Henry and Rock Island County areas, this spill may not be a problem. "If it is ethanol, the ethanol does dilute in the water and it would obviously lessen and it may not reach that far," said Sgt. Lewis.
IDNR advises the public to not eat fish from the Rock River in Ogle, Lee and Whiteside Counties until the cause of the fish kill is determined.