Iowa state governor Kim Reynolds was forced to declare disaster proclamations for four counties after crude oil spilled into a state river.
230,000 Gallons Of Oil
A BNSF Railway freight train was in the middle of its journey of transporting gallons of ConocoPhillips crude oil from Alberta, Canada to Stroud, Oklahoma on Friday, June 22, when 32 of the train's cars suddenly derailed. While reports indicated that there were no injuries, 14 of the train cars were compromised and leaked oil into the Little Rock River in Lyon County, Iowa. Railroad officials proclaimed that an estimated 230,000 gallons of crude oil were leaked.
Neither government officials or BNSF spokespeople have revealed how the accident happened. However, the Associated Press reported that Governor Reynolds squarely placed the blame on heavy rain that the area received earlier that week, which made Little Rock River rapidly rise. It is unknown how long the clean-up process would take.
The railway company released a statement on the clean-up efforts on June 23. They revealed that workers were able to use containment booms, oil skimmers, and other equipment to recover some of the spilled oil. BSNF noted that around 100,000 gallons of the spilled oil were recovered. The company also explained that it set up another containment boom 5 miles downstream.
Another significant priority for the transport company was to separate the spilled oil and the floodwater. BSNF workers would be combining both the industrial vacuum trucks and oil skimmers to separate the elements. Company spokesperson Andy Williams noted also mentioned that BNSF would also keep a sharp eye on the developing situation.
"In addition to focusing on the environmental recovery, ongoing monitoring is occurring for any potential conditions that could impact workers and the community and so far have found no levels of concern," said Williams in a statement to FOX News.
Oil Spill News
Researchers noted in 2016 that sawdust could play a role in soaking up oil spills in the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory worked on chemically modifying the sawdust with hopes that it absorbs more than five times the amount of oil than other cleaners. Researchers noted that sawdust could stay afloat in the ocean for an average of 120 days.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported that 200 birds were affected by a crude oil spill that occurred in Bay Long, Louisiana. Reports indicated that the oil spill took place after an excavator accidentally cut a pipeline that belonged to the Harvest Pipeline Company. The spill happened on Sept. 5, 2016, and it released 5,300 gallons of crude oil into the environment. If birds tried to remove the crude oil by themselves, it could cause severe damage to their bodies.
Hydrodynamics professional David Schwab revealed in a 2016 University of Michigan computer model study that if the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline bursts, over 700 miles of the Great Lakes' shorelines could be at risk for oil spills. The study showcased 840 potential simulations and found out that 720 miles of both the U.S. and Canadian shores could be affected. Researchers noted that over 20 million gallons of crude oil and other natural gas liquids pass through the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline a day.
Tech Times reached out to BNSF for a comment on this story.