Train Derailment and Methane Fish Kill - Same Location, Same Time

Environmental officials issued a public advisory to avoid contact with a Maryville creek after a fish kill.

Biologists found the dead fish inside Culton Creek while installing a water treatment system Sunday afternoon. They believe the fish died at least two days ago.

The fish kill is believed to be linked to the CSX train derailment on Thursday, city of Maryville spokeswoman Jane Groff said, but biologists are not yet sure if it's due to low oxygen from the fire or chemical contamination.

As a precaution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Blount County, Maryville and Alcoa officials issued a public advisory to avoid activity in Culton Creek.

The advisory applies to Culton Creek from Old Mount Tabor Road to North Hall Road. Sample results from Pistol Creek and Little River showed the water is safe for normal activity.

CSX installed three water treatment systems in Culton Creek and is constantly monitoring the air, soil and water in the area, said Kevin Eichinger, an EPA representative. Tests show chemicals levels in the creek are decreasing, he said.

Both federal and local officials emphasize no acrylonitrile has shown up in any well water tests and they are confident all drinking water is safe for consumption.


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