Mystery solved: What you should know about spots found on vehicles in Galena Park

By Leigh Frillici - Reporter

GALENA PARK, Texas - In Galena Park, a mystery seemed to fall out of the sky.

Stubborn brown spots spattered across cars and trucks baffled drivers over the last few days after rain fell Monday.

The spots had drivers at their wits' end when they looked at their vehicles.

On Wednesday, residents got an answer.

What you need to know about the spots found on vehicles in Galena Park:

What were people finding on their vehicles?

Brown or rust-looking spots were spattered across vehicles in the Galena Park area.

Were they coming off?

Drivers said the stains were resistant to typical car washing. One woman told KPRC they had taken her dad’s new truck to the car wash twice and the stains had not come off.

At Galena Park Motors, an employee told KPRC that he used a combination of chemicals, spent about six hours scrubbing and still did not get a white Ford Thunderbird fully clean.

Where did these spots come from?

Houston’s Valero refinery took responsibility and sent KPRC the following statement:

"On Monday, July 9, an oil line leak occurred from a production unit at Valero’s Houston Refinery. Valero personnel immediately took action and the leak was quickly stopped. Although it initially appeared that the oil had not affected the community we now believe that some oil mist may have traveled outside the plant.

"On Tuesday, July 10, Valero became aware that some residents in (the) city of Galena Park experienced spotting on vehicles and outdoor personal property."

What can people do?

Valero said residents who believe their property may have been affected by the release can call 800-678-9355.

Valero said that will begin the claims process where the company will work to help restore property damaged by this incident.

Here is a statement from Galena Park's mayor:

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