Pipeline's pump station spills oil near Greenville

Nov 6, 2013

One north Hunt County family was evacuated in the early hours of Nov. 6 after an above-ground pumping station began spraying crude oil near their home.

County 911 dispatchers received a call about the leak at 11:39 p.m. on Nov. 5, according to Hunt County Emergency Management Coordinator Richard Hill. A Wolfe City Fire Department crew responded to the site near Farm-to-Market Road 118, just north of the intersection with County Road 4304, Hill said.

Firefighters arrived to find a 40-foot fountain of crude oil rising from the pumping unit, according to officials. A one-inch steel pipe connecting to a valve had failed, causing the leak, Hill said.

“It did affect the residents on the north side of the valving station – they evacuated,” Hill said. “We waited for the crews from Plains Pipeline who came out, who’ll be handling the cleanup and everything about that. They’re taking care of the displaced people, and we’re monitoring the situation,”

The above-ground pumping station serves an underground pipeline operated by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. The pipeline moves crude oil from Cushing, Okla., to a station near Longview.

No underground leaking occurred, Hill said. The event did not affect daytime traffic on FM 118 because the site is not adjacent to the road, he said. 

"Late last night, a leak was detected in a piece of equipment attached to a crude oil pipeline that runs through Greenville," Plains All American Pipeline said in a released statement. "Before it was stopped, this leak caused an estimated 10 barrels of crude oil to spray into the air and subsequently impact some of the surrounding area, including one home."

"Residents from this home have temporarily relocated while we finish clean-up efforts," Plains said in the statement. "We immediately activated our emergency response plan and are working diligently to clean up the crude oil and restore the area. The pipeline itself was not damaged and is currently in service."

No injuries were reported, although Hill said it will take several days to clean up the spill.