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Two Tanker Cars Leaking Ethanol at Charles City Train Derailment
Posted: 05/22/2013
The Canadian Pacific Railroad’s attempts to recover three ethanol cars and three locomotives east of Charles City were hampered by soggy, unstable ground Tuesday night.

The railroad is still working to stabilize the approach to the Little Cedar River to allow large equipment to reach and retrieve the semi-submerged cars. The railroad company hopes to have the ethanol tanks out of the water sometime Wednesday.

As work progressed Wednesday, the railroad discovered that a second ethanol car was leaking. The condition of the third car is unknown.

An environmental consulting firm has installed continuous stream monitors a half mile and 5 miles downstream. They are monitoring oxygen levels in the stream, which will indicate how much ethanol is reaching the river. A third monitor is planned for the confluence of the Little Cedar and Cedar rivers. The consulting firm is also monitoring air quality for ethanol vapors.

Floating booms and absorbent pads appear to be capturing a diesel fuel leak from one of three locomotives in the river. DNR inspectors have not seen distressed or dying fish.

The DNR will continue to monitor the situation and cleanup, and consider appropriate enforcement action.

For more information, contact David Knoll 641-903-1985 (cell) or Jeff Vansteenburg at 641-424-4073 (office) or or