This article discusses a spill in Iowa of tar sands oil. On June 22, a train carrying Canadian crude oil derailed in northwestern Iowa, releasing an estimated 230,000 gallons of oil into a flooded river. As a result of the derailment, over 30 rail tank cars ended up in the water, with 14 cars confirmed to have leaked oil.
To put the size of this spill in perspective, an Enbridge pipeline that leaked in Michigan in July 2010 released roughly 1,000,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River. Cleanup for this spill, one of the largest inland oil spills on record, took years and more than $1 billion.
Like the Kalamazoo River spill, the train that derailed in Iowa was carrying tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada.
This crash, near Doon, Iowa, also is the first one involving the new, safer DOT-117R tank cars that promised to make oil safer to transport by rail. The accident reveals that these tank cars are not foolproof, considering the nearly quarter million gallons of oil released from them into an Iowa river.