Iowa DOT News Release

New Iowa study released on hauling of crude oil and biofuels by rail

Posted on: April 22, 2016

AMES, Iowa – April 22, 2016 –  A new study released today by the Iowa departments of Transportation and Homeland Security and Emergency Management reveals insights into the transportation by rail of crude oil and biofuels around and through Iowa.

The study, thought to be the first of its kind in the nation, used a series of interviews and meetings with government agencies, railroads, emergency response personnel, emergency managers, rail shippers, and biofuels producers to cover four main topic areas: prevention of spills, preparedness in the event of a spill, response to an incident, and recovery from an incident.

The group met several times over the past year to assess potential risks and propose measures to minimize those risks. Together, government and industry developed recommendations and actions to enhance the safety of this transportation supply chain.

Tamara Nicholson, director of the Iowa DOT’s Office of Rail Transportation, said, “Rather than working to impose additional rules or regulations on the transportation of these materials, as is being done in other states, we decided to work with the railroads, producers, and the emergency management community to see what procedures and resources are already in place and how those can be strengthened in Iowa.”

A full report of the study is available at:



Iowa DOT: Tamara Nicholson, at 515-239-1052 or
Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management: HSEMD PIO, 515-725-3231 or

Iowa highway in the evening