Crews clean up and monitor oil spill in Clear Lake

Pooja Lodhia Image
Friday, March 29, 2024
Crews clean up and monitor oil spill in Clear Lake
ExxonMobil said an oil spill near Sylvan Rodriguez Park in Clear Lake was contained, but neighbors are questioning the company.

HOUSTON, Texs (KTRK) -- Clean-up continued Thursday after an oil spill in Clear Lake near Sylvan Rodriguez Park.

According to an ExxonMobil representative, the spill was contained, but those living nearby have many more questions.

Several neighbors have been complaining about a strong chemical smell for days.

The park remains open, but clean-up crews were set up in multiple areas.

According to ExxonMobil, the power went out, and crude oil overflowed from a containment tank and overflow pit. The company added that the tank broke near the park, and that clean-up is expected to be done within the next week.

ExxonMobil representatives claim the community is safe, but they didn't address how much oil got out or exactly where it went.

The company provided this statement Thursday evening:

"We expect to complete the clean-up soon and will continue to monitor the area. Our priority remains the safety of the surrounding community and environment.

There are no anticipated long-term impacts to the community in Webster or the environment.

An investigation is being conducted but preliminary information indicates that following a power disruption, produced water containing crude oil overflowed from a containment tank and overflow pit. We quickly contained the oil and worked with emergency response crews to restore and monitor the area."

"I'd like to make sure it's stopped, and maybe what they can do in the future is to keep something like that, a containment area that could be bolstered or something like that," Celia Stevenson, who lives nearby, said. "I wish we could somehow protect our wildlife a little more because it is a bayou, and it flows out into the Gulf, so it affects all of us."

According to a City of Houston spokesperson, the city's Natural Resources Management Division will continue to assess the spill and its impact on the park.

The city's parks and recreation department also offered this statement:

"The Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) is aware of an oil spill that occurred nearby Sylvan Rodriguez Park. HPARD is assisting Exxon by allowing 24-hour access to the park during the clean-up and recovery process. HPARD's Natural Resources Management Division (NRM) is maintaining communication and contact with Exxon and will also continue to assess the impact of the spill generally as well as the spill's potential to impact Sylvan Rodriguez Park."

Lastly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering up-to-date details through its website.

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