Pipeline repaired, cleanup continues from crude oil spill in Bastrop County

Nearly 1,200 barrels of crude oil spilled along FM 20 in Bastrop County on July 14, 2017. (NBC News)
Nearly 1,200 barrels of crude oil spilled along FM 20 in Bastrop County on July 14, 2017. (NBC News)

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Farm to Market 20 near Shiloh Road, which is just a few miles southwest of the city of Bastrop, is back open as of Friday at 11 a.m. as crews continue to work to clean up a crude oil spill near the road that happened Thursday around 9:20 a.m.

Magellan Pipeline Company says they have completely repaired the damaged pipeline and they “have safely resumed normal pipeline operations” Sunday morning.  A spokesperson for Magellan says a contractor was  doing maintenance work on their Longhorn pipeline system when he struck the fitting on the pipeline causing the release Thursday.

A release sent by Magellan confirmed that 15 houses near the site were evacuated for most of the day, Thursday. That evacuation order was lifted several hours later allowing residents to sleep at their homes Thursday night.

Magellan says initial estimates indicate around 1,200 barrels of crude oil, about 50,400 gallons, leaked. Magellan stated they are working with environmental specialists on-site to minimize the damage.

“Actions have been taken to contain the crude oil release to minimize environmental impact and to ensure public safety. The oil has been contained in a small area around the pipeline release and no crude oil has reached any water,” the company said in a statement.

Aerials of the spill site showed heavy construction equipment next to what appears to be an oil pond. Numerous emergency crews were lined up along FM 20 Thursday afternoon to assist with the spill. Magellan says they were able to recapture all free-standing oil at the site Thursday night. Crews will focus on removal and replacement of affected soil Friday.

Auqa Water, which provides service to 50,000 customers tells KXAN their water lines are sealed. However, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reports about 40 private water wells exist in that area near the spill. No word if any of those are impacted or if the TCEQ plans to test the wells.

The company sent around 100 employees as well as vac trucks to contain the spill. Magellan also said they would reimburse any costs incurred by residents during the evacuation. No animals have been reported harmed by the spill.

 

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