Truck oil spill closes down downtown Yorktown

Sonny Long

May 18, 2010 at 12:18 a.m.

YORKTOWN - Traffic was rerouted around a four-block area of downtown Yorktown for about 10 hours after a tanker trailer lost its load of oil field cuttings about 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Yorktown Police Chief Paul Campos said about 18 to 20 barrels of the mixture, also known as oil field mud or shavings, was accidentally dumped along Main Street, state Highway 72, effectively closing down most of the downtown area for the day.

Main Street re-opened about 5 p.m.

Tanker owner Pro Field Services hired Ortiz Construction of Yorktown to clean up the spill.

The police chief said a vacuum truck was used to help remove the bulk of the oil. Sand was then put on top of the remainder that was then scooped up by back hoes. A pressure washer was also used, including on affected sidewalks, said Campos.

The truck was traveling from an oil field site in Kenedy to an environmental disposal site in Altair in Colorado County when the spill occurred.

The driver was cited for failure to secure the load. The company will also be charged for the any expenses the city incurred during the cleanup, Campos said.

Called to the scene were representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Railroad Commission and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said the police chief.

"It was cleaned up properly," Campos said. "Nothing got into the water. The TCEQ said they will continue to check back for a couple of days just to make sure."



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