Ethanol from Derailed Train Leaking into Mississippi River

February 5, 2015 12:52 PM
Ethanol from Derailed Train Leaking into Mississippi River

Railroad officials say it's unclear how much ethanol has leaked into the Mississippi River following a train derailment in eastern Iowa, but that they're working to monitor the environmental impact and offload fuel from the train.

The cars went off the tracks Wednesday morning in a remote area about 10 miles north of Dubuque.

Canadian Pacific spokesman Jeremy Berry says eight of the 14 derailed cars carrying ethanol appear to be leaking. He says some ethanol has reached the river, but it's unclear how much.

Federal and state environmental agencies are working with Canadian Pacific to set up ethanol monitoring sites downriver.

Local authorities say three cars caught fire and three others plunged into the river. Fires from the accident had been extinguished by Thursday morning. No injuries were reported.

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Spell Check

Lafayette, IN
2/10/2015 08:21 AM

  Ethanol is a volatile, flammable, teratogen. To say it is not a hazardous spill is ignorant and shows a lack of high school level scientific knowledge. The guys cleaning this up will not be wearing jeans and sweatshirts they will be wearing hazmat suits and respirators. As dangerous as an oil spill? Of course not. But it is still a big deal to the people and wildlife in the area.

Cross Plains, WI
2/6/2015 02:17 PM

  Knee jerk reaction to treat this as a hazardous spill. As said, can't hurt a thing and will mix with the Mississippi mud water as fast as it hits the water IMO. But reactions of the Gov't agencies will try to make the most out of it that they possibly can... to justify their existence.

Scott City, KS
2/6/2015 12:39 PM

  It won't hurt anything at all. It will break down immediately just like any other fermented residue along the bank of the river.


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