Kendall County receives praise for efforts following Plainfield train derailment
Will County Board member Darren Bennefield has been moved by the way the people and agencies of Plainfield have come together to make the best of a bad situation, he told the Will County Gazette recently.
On July 14, a Canadian National Railway train derailed at 143rd Street near Riverwalk Court, spilling as much as 40,000 gallons of crude oil in Bennefield’s district. While no injuries were reported, cleanup efforts continue and the cause of the mishap remains under investigation.
But there’s no mystery when it comes to the way locals have responded to the disaster, Bennefield said.
“I’ve been impressed with how everyone has come together to deal with this,” he told the Will County Gazette. “The response time was amazing, and everything was coordinated and running right off the bat. We had service back up and running by Sunday morning, and all the neighboring towns — Naperville, Kendall County — were there to help.”
Plainfield officials are awaiting an official report by the federal government on the cause of the accident, which might be months away. Investigators have assured residents that no contamination was done to the nearby DuPage River or surrounding neighborhoods. Officials said much of the spilled oil ultimately flowed into trenches that were dug for a natural gas pipeline.
“The derailment took place in an accessible spot. and Naperville brought in a drone to help with the aerial,” Bennefield said. “It’s been a great example of everyone coming together to do what needs to be done.”
In addition to the railroad's hazardous materials and environmental response teams, the Federal Railroad Administration and Environmental Protection Agency have also been a part of the cleanup effort.
“Overall, I’ve been as impressed as I’ve been pleased with effort,” Bennefield said.