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Oil Spill Cleanup Near Doon Could Continue For Months

Doon, Iowa — (RI) Clean-up continues near Doon where 32 BNSF railcars carrying oil derailed June 22nd.

Fourteen of the 32 cars leaked approximately 230-thousand gallons of crude oil into flooded farm fields, some of it making it into the Little Rock River. The trains began running again in three days — but the DNR’s Environment Program Supervisor, Ken Hessenius, says there’s lots of clean up left to be done.

Hessenius says the conditions around the accident site are making it tough to get right in.

Flooding is believed to have caused the cars to derail. But BNSF spokesperson Andy Williams says the official cause is being determined by the Federal Railroad Administration. He has no timeline for how long that will take but says it could be a few months up to a year.

Hessenius says he’s never had to deal with a spill of oil this large in his 30-year history in northwest Iowa.

At this point, the number of gallons spilled is still an estimate.

Hessenius says he thinks the response went very well with good cooperation between the railroad, the city of Doon, and its residents.

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