Officials: Corpus Christi Bay oil spill larger than first estimated; 5 animals affected
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include additional information about locations in Corpus Christi Bay and the number of animals affected by the oil spill.
An oil spill in Corpus Christi Bay that originated from a pipe failure at Flint Hills Resources’ Ingleside crude oil terminal is larger than originally estimated, a spokesperson said Friday.
An analysis completed on Friday showed that 335 barrels, or 14,000 gallons, of light crude oil was released, according to a statement from Flint Hills. The original estimate was 90 barrels, or 3,800 gallons, based on an assessment of the material that was discovered near the docks on Ingleside Bay on Dec. 24.
In a statement on Sunday, the company disclosed more locations in Corpus Christi Bay where ground and aerial patrols have identified cleanup efforts, including near Dock 5 at the Flint Hills Resources Ingleside Crude oil terminal, the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, North Beach, Indian Point, Nueces Bay, the Rookery Island and the Dredge Material Placement Area.
A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson initially said no impacts to wildlife had been reported, but Flint Hills said Sunday that four birds are believed to have died after being exposed to crude oil and one turtle has been treated for potential exposure.
Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch Association, a local advocacy group, issued a statement Thursday questioning transparency around the spill and urging the involved entities to inform the public about risks, recovery efforts and the effects on the environment.
More than 60,000 feet of boom and 3,000 feet of absorbent pads have been or are available to be deployed to protect sensitive habitat and shoreline, the company said Sunday, and additional boom will be deployed as necessary.
Residents are encouraged to report any material or oil sheens they observe to the Flint Hills Resources InglesideResponse Center at 361-396-2831.
“Flint Hills has mobilized resources, assessed the area, and is taking steps to recover material from the impacted areas,” a statement from the company read.
The cause of the incident is still under investigation. Flint Hills spokesperson Andy Saenz previously told the Caller-Times that weather conditions are the primary theory.
Flint Hills Resources Ingleside Dock 5 remains idled.
Flint Hills is working with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and Port of Corpus Christi Authority, the company said.
The public can report claims by calling 1-800-254-1122.
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This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Officials: Corpus Christi Bay oil spill larger than first estimated