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Size of oil spill revised downward but cleanup is bogged down

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Pollution control officials say the oil spill that resulted from this week's train derailment in Otter Tail County was only about half the size of original estimates, but the cleanup is going more slowly than they'd hoped.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency now says no more than 15,000 gallons of crude oil spilled when 14 Canadian Pacific cars derailed near Parkers Prairie.

The MPCA says only about 1,000 gallons of oil had been removed by Thursday, though. Cold temperatures have thickened the oil into a tar-like consistency that's hard to remove.

Reuters reports the accident is refueling concerns about the safety of shipping oil by rail. Rail shipments through Minnesota have soared in the last three years, as pipelines have reached their capacity.

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