Gross Negligence of Explorer Gas Company

A Message from Bill J. Creed of West Tawakoni, Texas

Concerned Citizen,

I attended an emergency town meeting this past week, where we were updated on the gasoline spill crises by a panel of speakers that included members of TNRCC, Explorer Gas Company, Texas Parks & wildlife, some kind of "local" EPA guy, the superintendent of the City of Tawakoni's water supply, the mayor of West Tawakoni, and others I cannot remember. I really wished each and everyone of you could have been there to witness the smoke screen these guys were producing. It was appalling to listen to these guys ramble on about how this spill was not a problem and that the chemicals posed no danger to the community. The entire speech was one contradiction after another, beginning with the spill and ending with the clean up process.

At the beginning of their visit they informed us that the spill was reported on Thursday night around 11P.M and that they had gotten it somewhat under control Friday morning around 6 or 7 A.M. They then informed us that the spill had occurred around Caddo mills area, and was contained some 4 miles away from the lake.

In another sentence, about three minutes later, we were told that they were using boats and leaf blowers to "herd" up the spill at the mouth of the lake. This is the first contradiction.

If the gas was contained some 4 miles up the creek, what was being herded with the leaf blower from the surface of the lake?

They then informed us that there was a "blob" - their word not mine - that was floating around the south side of the lake and heading straight towards the West Tawakoni water intake, and that the Mayor made the decision to turn off the pumps that suck the water up and into our reservoir.

According to these "specialist" , this "blob" was under the surface of the water, and was the chemical MTBE, and additive that eliminates smog from our exhaust emissions. We were told that MTBE posed no threat to humans, however, on Tuesday morning, 3-21-00, it was reported on channel 5 news, that the Federal Government was considering a ban on this chemical because of health problems associated with it.

I consider that contradiction #2. It might be somewhat amusing to you all to know that at the entrance to this meeting, the city was passing out notices that stated "do not boil water as the fumes can be harmful". I wonder how the fumes can be harmful yet ingestion the chemical is harmless. These were just a few things that I recognized as contradictions, there were many more that I have not printed here.

It all boils down to this, no pun intended. Our lake, our animals, our community, our health, and even our future economics will be affected by this spill.

Someone at this meeting asked if Explorer gas was prepared to compensate for these losses. I can tell you with certainty that they will do nothing without pressure from us.

Have you ever known a big company to pay for their mistakes without some sort of legal action? Especially when it is a debt of this magnitude. I am not sure what we need to do, but there are attorneys for that. I can assure you if we don't act, and act soon, we will be the ones who will be picking up the bill.