Magellan Shuts Down Iowa Pipeline After Significant Spill


Tulsa-based Magellan Midstream Partners LP shut down its ruptured 12-inch underground pipeline in northern Iowa on Wednesday following a leak of more than 138,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The refined products pipeline – built in the early 1950s and located in Worth County – is at the center of the largest U.S. diesel spill since 2010. The U.S. Department of Transportation indicated that the incident is the sixth largest refined petroleum spill of the decade.

Local officials reported no injuries or evacuations occurred as a result of the incident.

“It’s a big one — it’s significant,” said Jeff Vansteenburg, a field office supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “The product is under pressure, so as soon as a leak develops, it starts coming out pretty fast. Vacuum trucks are sucking up as much liquid as they can and taking that down to Magellan’s terminal. Once they’ve recovered all the free product that they can, then they will go in and remove contaminated soil.”

Magellan has amassed 218 accidents and 40 enforcement cases filed against it for pipeline safety violations, according to a report by the Associated Press.

In 2010, Magellan agreed to pay a fine of $46,200 for Clean Water Act violations following a 5,000-gallon diesel spill near a Milford, Iowa creek. That same year, the company agreed to pay a $418,000 penalty associated with a 45,000-gallon gasoline spill in Oklahoma.

Most recently, in October of 2016, Magellan’s anhydrous ammonia pipeline in Decatur, Nebraska, ruptured, killing one person and leading to the evacuation of 23 nearby homes.


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