Turkey Creek diesel spill still needs pollution monitoring

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Newsom: County “saved the day” with quick emergency management

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The initial cleanup of the Miller Grove Turkey Creek diesel spill is almost completed, although further monitoring is ongoing for soil pollution, according to an official release from the state of Texas. 

“Operations for remediation of the creek bed have been nearly completed,” the release said. 

However, the state noted, “Additional evaluation of the area has discovered a large quantity of contaminated soil that will require major excavation.”

The initial diesel spill occurred at approximately 6:44 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, near County Road 1130 after a six inch rupture in a pipeline that occurred after a two month maintenance program to a diesel pipeline, according to a release. 

The size of the spill was nearly twice as large as originally believed, according to HCSO public information officer Angela Price. An initial press release from the state said the size of the spill was 8000 gallons and 8000 barrels of oil, but Price stated 8000 barrels was correct, making the spill area nearly 15,000 gallons. 

“During the initial pipeline rupture gas levels increased and an archeological study was completed in preparation for future gas monitoring activities,” the state’s release said. “Unified Command is awaiting the results of the study before further plans are made.” 

Hopkins County fire chief and emergency management director Andy Endlsey indicated to the News-Telegram he believed the clean-up was going well, although only certified hazardous materials crews are allowed in the “hot zone” nearest the spill. 

“People are coming in from all over that specialize in this kind of cleanup,” Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom said. “The county really saved the day that night in building the dam to prevent the diesel from getting into the creek.This was our far beyond what our call of duty was and all of our emergency management did an amazing job down there.”