News Release from Washington County Emergency Management
Just a short update on the oil leak that recently occurred in Washington County, and an attempt to refute some of the rumors floating around.
Company reports have said approximately 14,000 barrels, or 588,000 gallons were lost in the incident.
A timeline has not been released as to how long repairs and clean up will take. This will take time.
To date, a cause has not been released. It’s been about 72 hours since this occurred. They may, or may not even know yet. I was notified at 1:30 am Thursday morning, and was on scene by 1:45 am, as was Road and Bridge supervisor Justin Novak. By 5 am, County employees were on scene with dump trucks, an excavator and a road grader.
A dam was constructed within 12 hours across Mill Creek, in the area locally referred to as the low water bridge, constructed by the County under guidance from the oil company, KDHE and the EPA, to prevent the oil from moving downstream, and potentially into larger waterways.
Multiple booms, or barriers, have been installed downstream of the low water bridge crossing.
Around-the-clock air-quality checks and other environmental monitoring is continually taking place. Multiple trucks that amount to giant wet vacuums to suck up the oil have been on scene since shortly after the incident.
The EPA said no drinking water wells were affected and oil-removal efforts will continue into next week. No one was evacuated, but the Kansas Department of Health and Environment warned people not to go into the creek or allow animals to wade in.
“At the time of the incident, the pipeline was operating within its design and regulatory approval requirements,” the company said in a statement.
As you can imagine, TC Energy has shown up in full force with literally hundreds of workers, equipment, and support staff. I can assure you that TC Energy has been nothing but professional and eager to remedy the situation as quickly, and safely as possible.
Traffic has been heavy on B street to 20th road, on to the spill site. Security check points are in place to keep people out that do not a need to be in the area. The people that have shown up to help have come from all over the United State’s, and Canada. They will be in our community for the duration, patronizing our grocery stores, convenient stores, hotels, laundry mats, parts stores, and more. Please show them a little grace as I can assure you they want to have this wrapped up and headed back home as soon as possible. They are here to do a job.
As always, if you have any questions, or concerns, please feel to reach out to me.
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator