Dickinson County officials review BNSF report on contaminated oil

It’s been almost eight weeks since a BNSF train, hauling 2.4 million gallons of crude oil derailed in Lyon County, Iowa.

Ten cars spilled an estimated 160,000 gallons of oil into a flooded area near Doon, Iowa. 

Crews spent the next few weeks working to clean up the mess.  

Now state authorities are confronted with a different problem. 

Where does that contaminated oil go?

Much of the waste from the Lyon County oil spill was sent to a landfill in Dickinson County, Iowa. 

On Tuesday, the Dickinson County Board of Supervisors met to discuss the test results of contaminated oil samples.

Supervisor Paul Johnson reviewed a BNSF report, and told them he questions whether the material was adequately tested before it was deposited in the landfill. 

According to the report from Test America: "results show the samples provided by BNSF meets all Iowa standards to be landfilled in any Iowa landfill."

A report also says the tests are the responsibility of the waste generator… in this case BNSF.

Johnson says he’s skeptical.

He says the timeline between when the trucks rolled, and when the report was released, do not add up. 

He also questions why the report does not include a summary of its findings and whether the samples provided by BNSF are a good representation of the contaminated area.

Supervisors plan to ask those and other questions during a meeting with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

The date of that meeting is yet to be determined.

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