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updated: 10/12/2017 10:19 PM

CN, Nicor resolution allays winter heating concerns

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  • A Plainfield derailment in June spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil and resulted in a dispute between CN and Nicor over the cause.

      A Plainfield derailment in June spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil and resulted in a dispute between CN and Nicor over the cause.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer, June 2017

 
 

Homeowners can stop stockpiling wood now that Nicor has announced a detente with the Canadian National Railroad over access to a pipeline.

The utility had warned in September that about 250,000 customers in western Cook and eastern DuPage counties could be without natural gas this winter unless CN allowed Nicor to lay a replacement pipeline under train tracks where a major derailment occurred this June in Plainfield.

CN blames Nicor for causing the disaster, but the railroad has allowed the utility to resume work, both entities confirmed Wednesday.

However, the railroad sued Nicor in Will County court Thursday stating a contractor for the utility made numerous mistakes installing the pipeline, causing $10 million in damages to CN and in costs for the emergency response.

Errors by the contractor resulted in a sinkhole beneath the tracks that led to the derailment June 30, the lawsuit claims.

Five train cars leaked about 30,045 gallons of crude oil, shutting down traffic temporarily in south Plainfield and alarming residents living nearby.

Nicor said no official cause had been determined by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Nicor stated that it now "can meet the increased demand for natural gas services during the winter heating season. The safety concerns have been addressed and work will resume in a safe and timely manner."

The pipeline should have been finished by mid-September.

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