As work was getting underway last week on the final portion of Cherry Lane that is getting overhauled the contractor carrying out the work contacted the City with a potential issue. On January 13, the contractor reported the possibility of contaminated soil in the area of the 2000 block of South Cherry Lane. Public Works Director Robert Smith met with the contractor, then contacted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, who confirmed that a fuel contamination was present at the location. TCEQ sent an emergency crew to the area and is handling the remediation of this issue.
In a letter posted on the City of White Settlement website after the contamination was discovered, City Manager Jim Ryan stated that there is no hazard to the motoring public but that there may be a slight gas odor in the area.
Assistant City Manager Jeff James followed up with The Grizzly Detail this week to provide more details on the situation.
“After TCEQ confirmed the soil contamination, the city determined that the issue is serious enough for the city to stop the street construction work until TCEQ has been given the opportunity to completely asses the contamination and determine the safest and most expedient way to dispose of the soil,” James said.
He went on to echo the words of the City Manager, saying there is no health risk present.
“TCEQ has informed the city there are no health risks to people walking in the area, other than an unpleasant odor at times,” James said.
According to James, the exact cause of the fuel contamination is not known at this time. He did, however, offer his thoughts on what could be causing it.
“It is most likely fuel residue left over in the soil from an old fuel tank leak at the Conoco station,” James said. “Due to all of the rain in the past couple of months the water table in the soil has risen, thus pushing the fuel residue to the top of the soil.”
Representatives of the TCEQ have been in continual contact with senior staff members of the City as they work to fully assess and clean up the contaminated area.
“TCEQ has committed to the city that they will remedy the situation as soon as they are finished making their assessment,” James said.
Those with questions or concerns about this issue are encouraged to contact Public Works Director Robert Smith at 817-205-8673.