DAYTON – Nearly two weeks ago, KPRC 2 was the first to tell you about a crude oil spill in Dayton that is damaging families’ properties, their well water supply and is killing livestock.
Since then, the operator, Jay Management Company, who owns the mineral rights in the area, has started the cleanup process.
“I don’t think words can even describe how grateful I really am that, not only me and my family, but this entire community is getting the help that they needed. They have been reaching out for so long,” Ximena Santos said.
On Saturday, the small Hispanic community held a meeting to discuss the next steps.
KPRC 2′s Re’Chelle Turner was invited to the meeting.
FIEL Houston, a non-profit organization that responds to community needs, was also there.
A few attorneys listened to people’s concerns about what they have experienced the past few months.
“It’s something I’ve never seen personally. It’s something that’s very troublesome because you have people living inside of this mess,” said Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL Houston.
Residents say the crude oil is starting to leak out of rusted pipes sitting on properties off County Road 4801 near SH 99 in Dayton.
Families spotted a new oil leak over the weekend that is slowly killing crawfish in ditches.
One farmer showed brown water that his cows and horses have to drink.
Activist Brian Lopez said the situation is getting a lot worse as families learn new information.
“It looks like these lands where people live shouldn’t have been sanctioned for living,” he said.
Lopez, along with FIEL Houston and the Executive Director of Operations for AmCorCo Corporation, spoke to families at the community meeting.
“AmCorCo produces a product called AmCoro sorb, and what it does is it puts on a hydrocarbon, and it changes the composition of oil gasoline to CO2 and H2O, which is water. It also eliminates potential fumes for explosion or combustion,” Erick Mann said.
Last week, residents said they had a gas leak that took crews over 30 minutes to respond to.
“It started off with the company closing down our only easement to get into our houses, and then it started snowballing into a bigger effect where it started becoming an issue of health,” Santos said.
The Environmental Protection Agency released the following statement:
“EPA was notified of the oil spill in Liberty County, Texas, on Monday, Feb. 27. In following up with the Texas Railroad Commission and the Responsible Party, Jay Management, EPA learned that the oil spill occurred January 27, 2023. Jay Management Company has contained the spill in a ditch along FM 1413 just west of State Highway 99 and is cleaning up and recovering spilled oil. The Texas Railroad Commission has been on-site daily to oversee the oil spill response. An EPA on-scene coordinator is mobilizing to the site to coordinate with the Railroad Commission and assess the situation. Residents experiencing health issues should contact their personal healthcare provider or the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). For acute health issues, residents should contact the Texas Poison Control Network (800-222-1222).”
Residents are considering suing Jay Management Company and fear that the oil spill will only get worse.
“We want to make sure that we organize this community, and they find their voice and that somebody, whether it’s local, state, or federal, pays attention to what’s going here and further keeps it from happening again,” Espinosa said.
Community activists and organizations are going to reach out to Jay Management Company and try to have a meeting.
OTHER RELATED STORIES: