ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Crews are still working to cleanup the aftermath of a leaking Sunoco pipeline in southwest Abilene.
The leak was discovered during routine hydrostatic testing Sunday.
An alarming amount of smelly, vibrant green liquid was observed pooling into Button Willow Creek and Canyon Rock Lake Sunday, prompting numerous citizens to contact police.
Police later issued a statement explaining the green liquid was a non-hazardous dye used during the testing.
The Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality were notified of the leak and sent teams to investigate.
Both agencies confirmed the leak came from a crude oil pipeline, but the TCEQ says monitoring the pipeline is out of their jurisdiction.
A TRC representative released the following statement regarding the leak:
Protection of public safety and the environment is the Railroad Commission highest priority. At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, the pipeline operator, Energy Transfer Company, reported to the Commission that a hole was located at 10:10 a.m. Sunday, in its Sunoco Pipeline, West Texas Gulf System, while preforming a routine hydrostatic pressure test. The hole caused a release of an unknown amount of liquid mixed with residual hydrocarbons into Buttonwillow Creek, which flows into Rock Lake. After receiving the spill report, the Railroad Commission immediately dispatched an inspector to the site and will continue the monitor the pipeline operator’s cleanup efforts until the site is brought into compliance with Commission rules.
Four vacuum trucks were on location Sunday afternoon to pick up spilled liquid. Booms were also deployed to absorb the residual crude oil along the surface of the water and along the banks of the creek. The remediation is ongoing today and will continue until complete.
The crude oil in the pipeline was removed before the hydrostatic testing, so only a small, unknown amount of residual oil remained in the pipeline.
KTAB and KRBC asked the TRC how long the leak had been present before the test was conducted and how often the tests are conducted, but as of 3:30 p.m. Monday, no answer has been received.
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