An Oklahoma-based pipeline company has begun cleaning up a spill of diesel fuel near Tehuacana Creek after a two-day investigation determined its leaking pipeline was the cause of a “sheen” on a pond near the creek.
Contractors with Magellan Midstream Partners found the leak Friday and were working to repair it while installing dikes and booms to contain the floating fuel, said officials with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The TCEQ, which is overseeing the investigation and cleanup, did not have an estimate of how much diesel was spilled. In a preliminary report to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Magellan estimated that about 50 barrels had spilled.
Magellan spokesman Bruce Heine said Friday afternoon that the true size of the spill “appears to be well below the amount we originally reported to regulatory authorities.” He said the company is still investigating the cause of the spill.
A TCEQ spokesman said the spill appeared to be contained in a pond about 1,200 yards from Tehuacana Creek, and no fuel appeared to enter the creek or the Brazos River downstream.
The spill site, located north of State Highway 6 just east of Loop 340, is in a marshy floodplain, and contractors had to build a temporary road of plywood to get equipment in to do the work.
Magellan is one of four pipeline operators in the immediate area, and regulators asked all four to investigate after the spill was reported Wednesday evening.
A pilot for Koch Pipeline Company, one of the operators, spotted the sheen while doing a routine surveillance run over the pipeline, a federal pipeline safety official said.
Heine, the Magellan spokesman, said that when the company got the call Wednesday evening, it promptly discontinued use of the 10-inch-diameter pipeline, which runs from Frost to Hearne.
The leak was expected to be repaired by late Friday.