Clean-up continues in Tyler Co.; cause of oil spill under investigation

TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The investigation into the cause of the oil pipeline leak in Chester has started and will continue throughout the week by Sunoco Logistics.

A spokesperson for the company said the leak has been isolated and the oil is no longer flowing through the pipeline.

Dale Freeman, Tyler County's emergency coordinator, said 550 barrels of oil leaked from the pipe. Clean-up operations in the creeks will continue for the next few weeks.

On Feb. 28, a Tyler County land owner smelled oil and traced it to Otter Creek. Sunoco Logistics identified a leak in its Colmesneil to Chester oil pipeline approximately 3.5 miles east of Chester, Texas.

"He got the local constable to go with him and they followed the stream upstream until they found the source of it about a couple miles away. It was a release at a pipeline location," Freeman said.

Freeman said it seems the pipeline had been leaking for several days before it was discovered. The pipeline company responded to the leak immediately on Feb. 28 and shut the pipeline off.

Sunoco Logistics set up a full-blown incident command post, according to Freeman. The company brought in approximately 160 workers to mop up the oil in the creek beds, using absorbent pads and fresh water from Russell Creek.

Many miles down the stream the water runs into Neches River but no oil has been found there according to Freeman. He said the leak has no affect on drinking water in Tyler County, and no wildlife or residents have been harmed by the oil spill.

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