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DICKINSON BAYOU SPILL REQUIRED ALL HANDS ON DECK

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Dickinson Office of Emergency
Management began investigating an
unknown substance found floating
on the water surface of Dickinson
Bayou Saturday morning January
22nd. The substance was reported
to be on the bayou from about
Paul Hopkins Park east toward
the Tropical Gardens Subdivision.
Dickinson OEM requested all boating
and other activity on the Bayou to
be suspended while the incident was
being investigated. Dickinson Bayou
boat ramp was closed Dickinson
Fire Department, US Coast Guard
and Texas General Land Office were
notified and were assisting with the
investigation.
The source of the substance was
determined as Calumet-Penreco,
a processing plant located along
Dickinson Bayou in the 4400 block of Park Ave. Calumet-
Penreco officials identified the substance as a sulfonate
solution, which is an intermediate product produced at
the plant. Calumet-Penreco officials indicated the product
was non-flammable, non-corrosive, and non-hazardous.
The accidental release was reportedly a result of a
damaged valve due to the freezing temperatures earlier
in the week. An independent third party environmental
testing group was called in for analysis of the substance
and environment. Additionally, Calumet-Penreco had an
environmental cleanup company come in.
A shift in the wind from the south helped the containment
of the product by pushing most of the product to
the north side of the bayou. The majority of the product
was contained within floating booms deployed by the
Dickinson Fire Department, and initially was within a mile
of the Dickinson Bayou Boat Ramp at State Highway 3.
Dickinson Emergency Management, Galveston County
Emergency Management, Dickinson Fire Department,
US Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office, along
with Calumet-Penreco officials remained on the scene
until all testing and cleanup was completed. Activity
along the bayou continued to be prohibited to prevent the
interference with containment and cleanup of the bayou.
Dickinson Bayou stayed closed to boating and pleasure
craft traffic for the remainder of the day as well.
Calumet Dickinson Refining brought in two separate
environmental response companies to expedite
the cleanup of product in Dickinson Bayou. Cleanup
was estimated to take less than one day, depending on
weather and wind conditions. The product was determined
to be mixture of oily water, sulfonate solution, and
emulsifiers used to lubricate drill bits and act as a rust
inhibitor. The product overflowed from a catch reservoir
at a slop oil tank. Less than 250 gallons of product was
lost. Once company officials were aware of the leak,
additional employees were brought in and the company
began immediate containment operations prior to the
environmental response company’s arrival. Company
officials have been working closely with local and state
officials. The product does not mix with the water or sink
to the bottom of the bayou, which will help with cleanup
efforts.
Calumet Dickinson Refining produces food grade and
pharmaceutical grade mineral oil in the portion of the
plant where the leak occurred. Activity along the bayou
continued to be prohibited to prevent the interference
with containment and cleanup of the bayou. Texas
Parks and Wildlife representatives were also at the scene
monitoring the situation. Traffic along Dickinson Bayou
was expected to be able to resume on Sunday, January
21, 2018.
Response teams placed
containment booms on the
east and west side of the
spill area. The containment
booms were located to the
east of the Calumet Penreco
plant and near Paul Hopkins
Park. These solid containment
booms were placed
completely across the bayou,
from the north shore to the
south shore. Because of
the booms, watercraft traffic
along the bayou was impassable.
Environmental response
teams continued the clean
up on Dickinson Bayou
throughout Sunday and in to
Monday.. Significant progress
was made during the
day. The material had been
isolated to three separate locations along the bayou.
Barrier booms and containment booms remained in
the water as part of the cleanup. Cleanup continued
throughout the night and the n Bayou remained closed to
waterway traffic to provide the response teams the best
possible environment to work with.
As of Monday morning, clean up continued on
Dickinson Bayou. Again, significant progress was made
over night. Coast Guard had opened Dickinson Bayou to
water traffic. However, the Dickinson Bayou Boat Ramp
remained closed due to the continued cleanup operations.
The spill product was isolated to one small area.
While cleanup continued on the water, any boat traffic
was advised to move at slow speeds in the area of work
crews. Cleanup is estimated to be completed by the end
of the day (Monday). Saturation booms will remain in
place for the next several days to collect any residual
product that may flush out from rocks, brush, etc., along
the shoreline. Crews will inspect those booms over the
next several days. Calumet Refining is currently conducting
an internal investigation, while Texas General Land
Office and US Coast Guard are conducting state and
federal investigations.
. The cleanup on Dickinson Bayou has been completed
this afternoon. Dickinson Bayou is open to boat
traffic. Dickinson Bayou Boat Ramp will remain closed
until midnight tonight, to allow the emergency response
companies time to clean and pack equipment. Barrier
booms and saturation booms will remain in place for the
next several days to collect any residual product that
may flush out from rocks, brush, etc., along the shoreline.
Crews will inspect those booms over the next several
days.

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