For Immediate Release
January 26, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Update: Herington Sulfuric Acid Spill

TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) continues to work with state and local partners to clean up and monitor the sulfuric acid spill from Union Pacific Railroad’s rail yard in Herington.

“Recent measurements indicate that Lime Creek pH levels have returned to normal ranges, which is above 6.8 pH,” explained Jennifer Nichols, Environmental Administrator for KDHE’s North Central District Office in Salina. “A range of 6.0 to 9.0 means the water is safe for consumption by animals. It is good to see these results and we’ll continue to monitor in the coming weeks.”

Testing has been ongoing since the spill on Jan. 8 and Union Pacific Railroad has worked to finalize the neutralization of the acid from the spill. The limestone filter dams, which have worked to contain the tainted water, are still in place and will be removed at a later date. The soil at the rail yard has also been neutralized and removed by a Union Pacific Railroad contractor.

Another round of verification sampling will be coordinated between KDHE and Union Pacific Railroad in the coming days.