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Pipeline leaks more than 138,000 gallons of diesel in Iowa

By Stephen Feller
Pipeline leaks more than 138,000 gallons of diesel in Iowa
A diesel fuel pipeline burst around 8 a.m. Wednesday, leaking about 138,600 gallons of fuel, most of which officials say has pooled in a nearby farm. While there is also a nearby creek, officials report no diesel appeared to have made it to the water and the company that owns the pipeline, Magellan Midstream Partners, had already brought in vehicles and equipment and was working to clean up the leaked diesel. Photo by Google Maps

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A diesel pipeline in Iowa ruptured Wednesday morning, sending tens of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel to pool on a local farm, but officials say it appears nothing made it to any water supply before clean-up operations started.

Magellan Midstream Partners shut down it's diesel pipeline running through north-central Iowa on Wednesday after it ruptured for an unknown reason, spewing 138,600 gallons of diesel fuel that may have been kept from contaminating water by pooling on a nearby farm.

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The company shut the 12-inch pipeline down as it started clean-up operations with local authorities in Worth County, Iowa, near Hanlontown, according to a spokesman for the company, adding that the company did not know what caused the break in the line.

"The product is under pressure, so as soon as a leak develops, it starts coming out pretty fast," Jeff Vansteenburg, a field office supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, told The Des Moines Register.

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Magellan, which has sensors to pick up on leaks or other problems in the pipeline, reported it around 8 a.m. Wednesday, saying about 63,000 gallons had leaked. By the time the leak had been stopped, about 138,600 gallons had escaped, which investigators found had for the most part pooled in a nearby farm.

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Although there is a creek near the farm, no diesel had been found to make it to the waterway, and officials had not yet determined if any underground water supplies were contaminated by the fuel.

Vansteenburg said Magellan had been responsive to the spill, bringing in vacuum and other trucks to pick up the free-liquid diesel. The company will also have to remove any soil contaminated by the spilled diesel fuel.

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"It's a big one -- it's significant," said Jeff Vansteenburg, a field office supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. "The responsible party is Magellan, so they'll have to bear the cost of clean up."

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