A hole in a pipeline allowed just under 20,000 gallons of oil to spill into Otter Creek Saturday in Tyler County, TX, county emergency management officials said.
Residents alerted Tyler County officials to the spill Saturday. Residents noticed the oil in Otter creek and notified officials, said Tyler County Emergency Management Coordinator Dale Freeman.
Otter Creek feeds Russell Creek and Russell feeds the Neches River.
Sunoco Logistics Partners, which owns the pipeline, is cleaning up about 550 barrels of oil that spilled from its pipeline, the company said Wednesday.
“Containment and cleanup operations are underway,” a Sunoco Logistics spokesman said.
The cause of the spill is still under investigation.
The leak occurred about 3.5 miles east of Chester, Texas, according to reports. Chester is 110 miles northeast of Houston.
Oil did spread into Russell Creek, but Freeman thinks they got to the leak in time before anything could hit the bigger river.
Sunoco Logistics said they patched the leak and oil is no longer flowing.
“We will perform a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident,” Sunoco officials said. “Right now, our priorities are the safety of the community, our employees and contractors, and the protection and restoration of the environment.”
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are helping with the clean up. Crews are under orders to work around the clock until it the cleanup is complete.