Crews along Mississippi train to contain oil spills - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Crews along Mississippi train to contain oil spills

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Emergency crews and first responders from Dubuque, Bellevue and Clinton spent the morning Friday on the Mississippi River, learning to use the equipment meant to catch oil or ethanol spills.

The use something called a boom, which is the most effective equipment to catch any spilled liquid.

"In a river like the Mississippi, you have a current that's going to take it down stream, so the more time passes, the harder it's going to be to try and contain that and protect the environment. This is all about environmental protection, and doing our best so that in the case of a scenario, we can minimize our impact to the environment," said Andy Cummings with Canadian Pacific.

These booms are kept at strategic locations up and down the Mississippi, and are easily accessible in case of emergency.

This training gives these crews not only knowledge of the equipment, but gives them a chance to get used to working together.

"We learn these skills, we learn to know each other. If we have an incident, and show up in the middle of the night, everyone has a basic understanding of how to be safe, how to protect the public and how to protect the environment," said Nic Winslow with BNSF hazmat training.

While this training is very reactive, Cummings says the railways are also working to prevent derailments in the first place.

"So it's about investment in our infrastructure, making sure that we have up to date infrastructure, and replacing infrastructure as it wears out," he said.

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