Iowa pipeline rupture causes 138,000 gallon diesel spill

Cleanup efforts continued through Saturday afternoon following a breach to the Magellan pipeline in Hanlontown, Iowa, on Wednesday, which poured over 130,000 gallons of diesel fuel onto farmland about 130 miles north of Des Moines.

On Saturday afternoon, officials announced the ruptured line had been repaired, but cleanup efforts were continuing.

Reportedly the largest pipeline leak since 2010, the cause of the fracture to the underground line is under investigation.

“It’s a big one — it’s significant,” said Jeff Vansteenburg of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Authorities say a rupture to the line was discovered Wednesday morning and in the three days following workers have labored to clean up the spill.  Officials from multiple state and federal agencies, local responders, contractors and employees from Magellan Mainstream were on site overseeing dozens of vacuum trucks involved in the cleanup, but workers were battling high winds and one foot of snow which fell over the last three days.

According to Vansteenburg, most of the liquid spill had been removed by Saturday and the source of the leak had been located and repaired.  Cleanup crews were in the final stages of removing liquid fuel for transportation to a Magellan Mainstream facility in nearby Minneapolis.

Magellan Mainstream also stated it planned to excavate the one-acre area and dump the soil at a land fill in Clear Lake, Iowa.  Vansteenburg later stated no farm field drain lines had been breached and no fuel had contaminated local waterways.

The Magellan pipeline is managed by Oklahoma-based Magellan Mainstream Partners and runs through the upper Midwest from North Dakota to Illinois.  Maps of the line have been censored and are no longer available to the public.

No injuries have been reported and no residents were evacuated. This is at least the 14th time a pipeline has ruptured in Iowa since 1996.


[NPR] [KAAL – ABC 6 News] [AP via CBS Minnesota] [Photo courtesy U.S. Uncut]