Canadian Pacific and DNR Confirm Ethanol is Leaking into Cedar River

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Update from Canadian Pacific at 6:12 p.m.:

–       A third tank car did leak some product, but the car has been sealed and it has been lifted away from the water.

–       The two tank cars that were confirmed last night and this afternoon as having leaked product are no longer at the site and have been removed from the area.

–      Ongoing water and air testing is showing no signs of adverse impacts.

–      Preparations are continuing to have the one locomotive that has lost some engine fluids removed from the area.  Containment booms and absorbent pads remain in place around the locomotive and it appears the leak remains contained.

Original Story:

CHARLES CITY, IA – We have an update to a story we’ve been covering since Monday night the train derailment east of Charles City.

Crews from Canadian Pacific are working to get the train cars removed. Last night, they found some diesel and ethanol leaking into the little Cedar River.

“One of the cars had been leaking some ethanol. Of course, once that was determined we immediately began water and air quality monitoring,” says Canadian Pacific spokes person, Ed Greenberg.

Originally crews thought diesel fuel was the only concern for leaking until water levels went down on the little Cedar River. That’s when they discovered ethanol was also getting into the water way.

“To this point there have been no indication there are any adverse impacts to the water way, we’re continuing to conduct air and water monitoring tests as well as begin the process of removing the impacted car from the area,” adds Greenberg.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is confirming the company’s findings that 2 of the 3 cars are leaking ethanol.

Meanwhile, Canadian Pacific crews are working on creating an access road so large equipment can get close to the train. Iowa DNR officials say it’s important that they work quickly.

“Ethanol is admissible in water so it’s not going to float so you really can’t recover it with the booms or pads so what they’re doing is monitoring for dissolve of oxygen down stream of the spill,” says Jeff Vansteenburg with the Iowa DNR.

He says the diesel fuel is being recovered with petroleum pads but since ethanol doesn’t float it’s impossible to recover.

Since at high concentrations ethanol can be toxic crews are continuing to keep an eye out for impacts.

“The easiest one to spot would be dead fish or dead aquatic organisms and nothing like that has been spotted at this time,” adds Vansteenburg.

DNR and Canadian Pacific workers tell us they will continue to monitor the air and water until clean-up is complete.

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