Bonner Co. man annoyed with BNSF dumping derailment debris near his property

KREM 2's Taylor Viydo reports on how a railroad is dumping corn and debris in front of a nearby neighbors home after a train derailment. (5-8-17)

BONNER COUNTY, Idaho – A Bonner County man reached out to KREM 2 to express his annoyance with BNSF’s decision to dump the corn and debris from a train derailment the week before near his property.

The train derailment happened May 1. Between 25 and 27 cars, filled with corn, of the BNSF train derailed.

While crews have been cleaning up, BNSF decided to drop the debris on their property – which happens to be in front of Terry Geeron‘s home.

Geeron lives in the small community of Elmira, just off Highway 95 in Bonner County. His home is across a dirt access from Burlington Northern tracks and a stretch of land it owns. – land that used to be empty.

Geeron said by his estimate there is about 1,200 feet of it scattered around. He said BNSF did not give him some heads up they would be doing this.

It all started last Thursday with a few truckloads of corn – that quickly turned into to several dozen truckloads of corn, and more.

“At first it just kind of started to irritate me, then it started to irritate me a lot,” Geeron said.

Grain train derailment spurs concerns over oil

The possibility of that being oil raised concerns for many of you. So KREM 2 On Your Side wanted to know what will be done once those tracks are repaired to make sure another derailment does not happen again.

Three different dump trucks came by while we conducted this interview.

Geeron said it has been nonstop.

“It’s not corn. It’s garbage,” he said.

It is the pieces of metal, concrete, and all the dust that is created that is irritating Geeron. He worried the mess could affect the environment, too.

“You could see the rats out here,” he said, “the first heavy rain, it’s going to be a mess.”

A BNSF spokesman described it as an “emergency situation” for them. The railroad said it is waiting for some equipment to fully remove the mess, but said they could not have the debris at the site of the derailment in the meantime.

BNSF noted that this is their property, and said that the debris is not impacting the environment, the public, or Geeron.

“I kind of figured someone would come and talk to me. Tell me what was going on,” Geeron said. “But they didn’t bother.”

Geeron said it is the principle of the matter. Since no one from the railroad came to talk to him, he felt like he is being left in the dust – in more ways than one.

“I’ve tried to be a good neighbor, and I don’t feel like they’re being good neighbors to me,” Geeron said.

BNSF said they are working on a plan to remove it, but it is not clear when that will happen.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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