Oil Leak 65 Miles Long

Friday, February 7, 2014 @ 06:02 PM gHale

A bad valve on a Canadian Pacific oil tanker left a 65-mile long oil spill that has Winona, MN, officials working to contain the mess.

The leak started in Red Wing, MN, and when the train became aware of the problem they stopped in Homer MN, but not until leaving 12,000 gallons of oil behind them.

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“We knew we had a spill. Somebody saw it as the second to last car leaking out of the bottom pipe,” Winona Fire Department Assistant Chief Britt Hendrickson said.

“An investigation was launched immediately and it appears there was a malfunction with one of the car’s valves,” Canadian Pacific Railway spokesperson Ed Greenberg said.

When the train stopped, Canadian Pacific said they immediately notified all necessary agencies.

“(We called) the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as well as local fire departments to insure that they were aware of the situation and the steps we’re taking to respond to it,” Greenberg said.

No one knows the environmental hazards yet. Canadian Pacific is now in the process of evaluating their options for cleanup.

“We have environmental experts from our company continuing to assess the situation with reps from MPCA in ensuring there have been no environmental impacts,” Greenberg said.

Canadian Pacific said as far as they can tell all oil remained contained in between the tracks and there are no risks to the public.

With no immediate safety concerns Canadian Pacific said their next step is investigating.

“Our focus at this time is trying to figure out how the product escaped from the car and ensure all environmental measures have been taken,” Greenberg said.

Canadian Pacific said they will be working with the shippers, car owners, and the rail car builders to find out why there was a leak and to make sure they take the correct steps moving forward.

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