Officials in Boone County in central Iowa are working to contain an ethanol spill from a leaking railroad tanker car. Boone County Emergency Management Coordinator Dave Morlan says the car is now in a rail yard on the west side of the county.
Morlan says from what they’ve been able to tell, one of the seals on the ethanol tanker came loose. He says it sounds like the spill is just within Boone County. Morlan says the tanker carries 30,000 gallons of ethanol. Morlan says there is a large pool of ethanol in the railyard, but he says it’s hard to tell how much ethanol is there because there is a lot of snow and the ethanol is going under the snow.
Morlan says the temperature is cold enough that they aren’t worried about the pool of ethanol catching fire. But, he says they are taking precautions at the rail crossings where cars might drive through some spilled ethanol. Morlan says they are covering each crossing with sand so the cars don’t go across the ethanol and it is ignited by the warm parts of the car.
Morlan says they stopped train traffic on the rail line until they can get all the crossings covered with sand. Once that is done, he says they will start cleaning up the spilled ethanol.
By Jim Turbes, KWBG, Boone