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State wants railroad to pay for 2009 fish kill

Illinois wants Canadian National Railway to pay for restocking the Rock River after 72,000 fish died following the fiery June 2009 derailment of a CN train in Cherry Valley.

The Rockford Register Star reports that Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office filed an amended legal complaint filed in Winnebago County Court stating that ethanol from the 2 million gallons on the derailed train spilled into a nearby creek.

It’s the first time the derailment has been linked officially to the fish kill, which began two miles north of Grand Detour and ran 54 miles downriver past Prophetstown. More than 72,000 fish died.

Although Canadian National can still file a response to the new allegations, Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Van Wie said today “we’re still negotiating a settlement through all of this” during a status hearing before 17th Circuit Court Judge Edward Prochaska.

One woman died and nine more were injured after the train carrying ethanol derailed, sparking a blaze that burned for nearly a day