Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Great Train Robbery

A Norfolk Southern Railway train derailed near the Pennsylvania town of Gardeau and spilled a highly toxic chemical into a high quality wild trout stream. Judging from the photo in the article this was a massive fish kill.

The highly concentrated chemical, which is used in drain and oven cleaners, killed tens of thousands of trout, bass and other game fish, plus tadpoles, aquatic insects and waterfowl in 35 miles of those streams extending from southern McKean County through Cameron County and into Clinton County. At the derailment site the chemical was concentrated enough to cause skin burns.

The fish kill is expected to be 100 percent in the first four miles of Portage Run, which had earned the highest water quality rating by the state and supported a thriving population of wild brown and brook trout, and also in the lower six miles of the run, which was stocked with trout. It is expected that all the fish in the 20-mile-long Driftwood Branch, which has a reputation among fishermen for producing big brown trout, also died.

That is what I call a train robbery. (Link)

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