2013-01-03 / Front Page

Fuel spill contained by local, state officials

Representatives from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as well as Smith County Constable officials were on hand Monday (Jan. 7) to begin cleanup of an oil spill that could have contaminated Poole Lake in Lindale.

Craig Conner and Dale Rice of the TCEQ and Mike Burton, environmental control officer for the Precinct 5 Constable’s Office, were busy Monday morning making sure the oil spill didn’t make its way into Poole Lake, located just off north Main Street in Lindale.

“Right now we are doing most of the work by hand and sucking up the oil,’’ Rice said. “This hasn’t been a threat to anyone’s safety.’’

All agreed quick action by the Lindale Police Department and Lindale Fire Department on Sunday helped keep the spill -- which originated from what police officials believe was someone changing their oil from a diesel engine – from contaminating Poole Lake and possibly getting into the water supply.

LPD Chief Dan Somes said his department was notified of the spill by a resident who noticed oil in a creek behind her home.

Somes said he believed someone was changing their oil behind C.J.’s Auto Detailing on South Main and poured the used oil into a drain, which ended up in a small creek that runs into Poole Lake.

C.J.’s Auto Detailing isn’t open on Sunday.

Officials with the Lindale Fire Department began containing the spill by putting oil absorbing buoys in the creek.

Rice said the cleanup of the spill would be completed by the end of the day on Monday.

Officials estimated that about two gallons of oil was dumped into the creek before the fire department put out the buoys.

Smith County Litter Abatement Officer Tommy Goodman said the oil was probably dumped sometime Sunday morning. He said a crime of this nature is usually a third-degree felony.

Anyone with information on the dumping can call his office at 903-590-4901, or the Lindale PD at 903-882-3313.

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