Railroad: 230000 gallons of oil spilled

Katie Ramirez
June 26, 2018

Williams said oil will be removed from the containment site with equipment to separate the oil from the water.

BNSF railroad spokesman Andy Williams said workers have unloaded oil from 10 of the oil tank cars that didn't leak after Friday's derailment about 15 miles south of the Minnesota border. The river rose rapidly Wednesday after 5 to 7 inches (13 to 18 centimetres) of rain fell Wednesday and a further downpour on Thursday. "We've had skimmers working since yesterday on the floodwater south of the site".

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is set to visit the site of an oil train derailment and oil spill in the northwestern corner of the state. They're also building a road parallel to the tracks to try to get to the derailed and partially-submerged oil cars.

Williams said he was unsure how much oil leaked and how numerous cars were leaking.

The train was carrying tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to Stroud, Oklahoma, for ConocoPhillips. He did not know how much had spilled. Williams added that almost half the spill had been contained with booms near the derailment site, with additional booms downstream, amid concerns that the oil may contaminate the water supply as far away as Omaha, Nebraska, some 240 km to the south.

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Rock Valley, a small city just to the southwest of Doon where more than 30 oil tanker cars derailed into floodwaters, has shut off all its drinking water wells.

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep said, "About 100 people are working on this and they are making some pretty good progress, they've been hauling oil out here all day long". ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons of oil.

Officials say 230,000 gallons spilled after the derailment, with some of it being carried down the Little Rock and Rock rivers.

"Our first major concerns are public water supplies", he said, adding that several towns that draw water from shallow wells near the Rock River have been alerted about possible contamination. "We had a large supply in our water towers and we are using our interconnection with rock valley rural water to recharge our water supply".

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