Assessment of any lingering environmental impacts of the August train derailment near New Hampton is almost complete.
As many as six locomotives and four rail cars operated by Canadian Pacific (CP) Railroad crashed August 28th about three miles southwest of New Hampton due to flooding in the area caused by almost 10 inches of rain in a 24-hour period leading into that morning. The wreck caused a leak in an anhydrous ammonia tanker, leading to the evacuation of residents in the immediate area. Fuel and other lubricant oils also leaked from the locomotives.
CP Media Relations Manager Andy Cummings says the company has since removed all of the derailed cars and locomotives from the site. He adds CP personnel also had to remove some vegetation from the site and have been conducting soil sampling to identify the extent of any remaining petroleum pollution. Cummings says direct communications with landowners in the area and CP’s investigation of the incident are both ongoing.
Environmental Specialist with the Manchester Office of the Iowa DNR, Chris Gelner, says any threat to the environment at the site is nearly closed. Once the soil sampling plan is complete, data will be provided to the DNR and a proposal for further mitigation will be designed.
CP crews also had to rebuild the bridge damaged by the derailment and train traffic through the impact zone has resumed.