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Focus shifts to recovery, clean-up in Chemtool fire

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Chemtool Fire

ROCKTON (WREX) — Officials provided an update on the progress being made in the Chemtool fire.

In an email sent out Monday afternoon, officials say with the large majority of the fire under control, the response has now shifted to address the recovery and the clean-up of the fire.

RELATED: Class action lawsuit filed against Chemtool following massive fire

The remaining fire suppression operation is now being led by US Fire Pump and Lubrizol.

Once the Chemtool, Inc. site is released by all firefighting agencies and state and federal investigators, Illinois EPA and U.S. EPA will lead regulatory oversight of the site remediation efforts.

As for the clean-up, officials say they are continuing to monitor the air and water quality. Officials say the air quality remains stable at this time.

Click here for more coverage of the Chemtool fire

The Illinois EPA continues water quality analysis of the Rock River and area groundwater. Additional sampling is being determined.   Water samples have been collected from the Rock River, sentinel wells, waste water treatment plants, sanitation lines on site, and water runoff from fire suppression.

Sampling location maps are currently available on Illinois EPA’s Chemtool webpage at: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/community-relations/sites/Chemtool/Pages/default.aspx

Officials say the Illinois EPA also collected soil and wipe samples throughout the one-mile radius area. Preliminary results of initial samples indicate no detection of semivolatile organic compounds, according to officials. Final sampling data will be published on Illinois EPA’s Chemtool webpage. 

Health interpretations of results collected on private property will be provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health directly to property owners.

Currently, all wastewater from the site is being collected and characterized for disposal, before being shipped to an appropriate facility.

Damage assessment teams will begin damage assessments in the one-mile radius around ChemTool on Tuesday morning. 

Local agencies involved include Laborer’s Disaster Response Teams, Team Rubicon, Christopher Burke Engineering, and multiple local personnel from Rockford, Rockton, and other communities.

Local damage assessment teams will be joined by IEMA and supported by MABAS.

Residents with debris from the fire are encouraged to contact Clean Harbors at 877-552-8942 for assistance with removal.

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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University.

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