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Mississippi fuel leak reaches Cottage Grove, Grey Cloud

The Mississippi River, near Grey Cloud Island Township. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia file photo

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — An early-morning oil spill in South St. Paul has spread as far south as Grey Cloud Island.  

Union Pacific spokeswoman Kristen South said a train derailed around 2 a.m. Aug. 8, causing a diesel tank on a locomotive to be punctured, spilling 3,200 gallons into the Mississippi River.

Union Pacific, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and area first responders, including the Andeavor Refinery Fire Department, were on scene to clean the spill, MPCA spokesman Walker Smith said.  

READ MORE: Video: Crews practice spill response on the Mississippi River

South said an environmental team was swiftly deployed and set up absorbent booms and boats to remove the fuel from the river. Teams will continue to observe the river as cleanup efforts move forward.

Booms and an oil skimmer have been placed near Aggregate Industries in Grey Cloud Island, about eight miles south of the original spill location. Another boom is near the Interstate-494 bridge in Newport.

South said the spill is staying relatively contained to this area of the river. The spill has also stopped.

“The fuel tank was empty, so there’s no additional diesel fuel getting into the river,” Smith said.

The river is currently closed to boats and barge traffic, but South said they anticipate reopening later today.

The Hoffman Swing Bridge where the derailment took place is closed for inspection.

Smith said there has not been an incident similar to this in over a decade, when some ethanol hauled by a train spilled into the river.

Check back for more information on this breaking story.