The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a train derailment near Charles City earlier this week caused about 49,000 gallons of ethanol to leak into the Little Cedar River.
The Canadian Pacific Railroad train derailed early Tuesday morning and three cars carrying ethanol became submerged in flood waters. The cars were removed Wednesday night but not before a significant amount of ethanol leaked from them.
The DNR says ethanol in water can decrease oxygen levels which could kill fish or other aquatic organisms. The railroad placed monitors in the river and says oxygen levels are normal and no dead or distressed fish have been found for up to 20 miles below where the train derailed.
Three locomotives from the train were removed from the water Thursday night. Officials say about 300 to 400 gallons of diesel fuel and 100 gallons of lube oil leaked into the river from the train. Absorbent pads and booms will remain in place to remove as much fuel as possible until the area is dry.
The site of the derailment will be monitored through the end of May for environmental issues.